The primary objective was to compare the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and worry of pediatric patients with functional GI disorders (FGIDs) and organic GI diseases to healthy controls utilizing the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ (PedsQL™) Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Worry Scales for patient self-reports ages 5–18 years and parent proxy-reports for ages 2–18 years. The secondary objective was to compare FGIDs and organic GI diseases to each other.
The PedsQL™ Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Worry Scales were completed in a 9-site study by 587 pediatric patients with GI disorders and 685 parents of patients. Patients had physician-diagnosed GI disorders (chronic constipation, functional abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease). Ten Gastrointestinal Symptoms Scales measuring Stomach Pain, Stomach Discomfort When Eating, Food and Drink Limits, Trouble Swallowing, Heartburn and Reflux, Nausea and Vomiting, Gas and Bloating, Constipation, Blood, and Diarrhea were administered along with two Gastrointestinal Worry Scales. Five hundred and thirteen healthy children and 337 parents of healthy children completed the PedsQL™ Gastrointestinal Scales in an Internet panel survey.
The PedsQL™ Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Worry Scales distinguished between pediatric patients with FGIDs and organic GI diseases in comparison with healthy controls, supporting known-groups validity. Patients with FGIDs reported more GI symptoms and worry than patients with organic GI diseases.
The PedsQL™ Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Worry Scales may be utilized as common metrics across pediatric patient groups with FGIDs and organic GI diseases and healthy samples to measure GI-specific symptoms in clinical research and practice.