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Internal Psychometric Properties of the Children with Special Health Care Needs Screener

  • Adam C. Carle
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Adam C. Carle, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, 3333 Burnett Ave MLC 7014, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229.
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Division of Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Carle); National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Md (Dr Blumberg); and Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Fla (Mr Poblenz)
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  • Stephen J. Blumberg
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Division of Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Carle); National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Md (Dr Blumberg); and Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Fla (Mr Poblenz)
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  • Charlie Poblenz
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Division of Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Carle); National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Md (Dr Blumberg); and Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Fla (Mr Poblenz)
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Published:March 15, 2010DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2009.11.006

      Abstract

      Objective

      Insufficient research has established the measurement properties of the Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Screener. This leaves unclear whether CSHCN Screener–based estimates reliably identify CSHCN. We used classical and modern test theory to establish the CSHCN Screener’s internal psychometric properties.

      Methods

      Data came from the 2005-2006 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN), a nationally representative survey of US children (N = 359 154).

      Results

      Cronbach’s α, a measure of internal reliability, equaled .76. Confirmatory factor analysis for ordered-categorical measures indicated that a single underlying trait that we label health-condition-complexity underlies CSHCN Screener responses. Item response theory showed that responses provide particularly precise measurement among children experiencing elevated health-condition-complexity trait levels.

      Conclusions

      Findings demonstrate that responses to the CSHCN Screener as used in the NS-CSHCN have good internal psychometric properties and include minimal random measurement error. Epidemiologists, clinicians and others can rely on CSHCN Screener responses to reliably identify CSHCN experiencing 1 or more of the 5 consequences included on the CSHCN Screener.

      Keywords

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