A pilot study of the suitability of the PEDI to assess the long-term functional outcomes of pneumococcal meningitis in children

Eaton, Lynette
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

Aims This small pilot study investigated whether the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) is a suitable tool to measure accurately the long-term functional performance outcomes of children who have had pneumococcal meningitis. Background Bacterial meningitis is a disease that is associated with significant mortality and morbidity. It is caused by three main pathogens including Streptococcus pneumoniae. Because of the damage to the nervous system in the process of this disease, the potential for neurological and functional sequelae is relatively high. Understanding and quantifying these outcomes assists in discharge and service planning and in the allocation of therapy resources. Methods The PEDI is a comprehensive assessment of functional performance. It was used to evaluate a sample of children (n= 8) who had had pneumococcal meningitis at least one year previously. Results The sample obtained did not match the cultural mix of the original group nor was functional disability represented. The majority of children scored within normal limits. None of the parents interviewed felt their children required intervention or support services that they were not currently receiving. Conclusions Issues of recruitment bias and the small sample number prevent strong conclusions being drawn about the suitability of the PEDI to measure functional performance outcomes following pneumococcal meningitis. The PEDI result matched parental impression of performance ability and therefore shows promise in terms of face validity for this population in evaluating the areas of functional performance. However the lack of subjects with significant detectable sequelae prevents assumptions being made about the use of the PEDI with children more severely functionally affected following meningitis, or with non-European children.

Meningitis , Children with disabilities -- Functional assessment
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