Dry eye symptoms in children: can we reliably measure them?
Ocular surface symptoms are reported to be lower in children in comparison to adults, but most studies use questionnaires developed for and validated in adult populations. This study measured repeatability and examined the feasibility of using validated adult dry eye symptoms questionnaires in children. The participants completed 6 dry eye questionnaires twice in random order at the same visit. the questionnaires were scored according to published methods. OSDI was scored without question 7 on 'Driving at night' as it is not applicable to the study participants. Summary statistics (completion time and assistance required) were recorded and their relationship with age examined (Pearson correlation, logistic regression). Proportion of assistance required was compared between questionnaires (Linear model and Pairwise tests). The test re-test repeatability (paired t-test) and reliability was examined as recommended by Bland and Altman (Bias, Coefficient of repeatability, Intra correlation coefficient). Children who required assistance were younger than those who did not require assistance and average completion time was longer in younger children. The repeatability values of the questionnaires were similar and fairly comparable to reported adult values. The dry eye questionnaires tested are feasible for use in children and are quick to administer; however, more time and assistance are required for younger children. Specific terms may not be understood by younger children. Future work is encouraged to evaluate the questionnaires in symptomatic children population.