Few studies have examined parent-child discrepancies on self-report measures of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) symptomatology and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The aim of this study was to investigate parent-child reporting discrepancies between a pediatric sample of diagnosed patients with ME/CFS and controls to better understand the role of children and adolescent reporting.
Data for this study were drawn from a community-based epidemiological study of pediatric ME/CFS in the Chicagoland area. A total of 147 parent-child dyads (75 pairs with ME/CFS and 72 control pairs) completed measures assessing HRQOL and ME/CFS symptomatology. At the individual level, agreement was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) scores. Agreement was measured at the group level by a comparison of means using paired-sample t-tests.
Intra-class correlations revealed varied agreement in both parent-child pairs of children who met at least one case definition of ME/CFS and in parent-child pairs in the control group.
The current study provides support for the existence of discrepancies between parent-child reports of ME/CFS symptomatology and HRQOL measures. Limitations and future directions are discussed.