Objective. To develop a questionnaire to assess perceived ability to manage juvenile chronic arthritis (ICA) among adolescents and parents. Methods. The questionnaire contained 24 (parents' version) and 23 (adolescents' version) questions accompanied by visual analog scales in the areas of knowledge, skill, behavior, attitudes, and self-efficacy. One hundred seven persons participated in the examination of validity and 25 in the examination of test-retest reliability. Results. Factor analyses indicated that the questionnaire, now termed the MEPS (abbreviation for 'medical issues, exercise, pain, and social support') questionnaire, contained 4 underlying dimensions: medical issues, exercise, pain, and social support, including 9, 4, 7, and 4 questions, respectively. The content of the questionnaire was judged mainly to be easily understood, relevant, and exhaustive. Intraclass correlation coefficients for the test-retest reliability of the questionnaire answers over a week ranged from 0.68 to 0.96 for single questions. Conclusion. The MEPS questionnaire appears to be a valid and reliable tool for assessing the perceived ability to manage ICA. Whether it is sufficiently responsive to interventions remains to be investigated.
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