OBJECTIVE: To develop a questionnaire to assess perceived ability to manage juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA) 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 JCA. Whether it is sufficiently responsive to interventions remains to be investigated.
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