Assessment of Commonly Used Pediatric Stool Scales: A pilot study

Saps, M.; Nichols-Vinueza, D.; Dhroove, G.; Adams, P.; Chogle, A.

Rev Gastroenterol Mex. 2013 Aug 21; 78(3):151-8

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS) and a modified child-friendly version (M-BSFS) are frequently used in clinical practice and research. These scales have not been validated in children. 3-D stool scale models may be better adapted to the child's development. AIMS: To assess the usefulness of the BSFS, M-BSFS, and a newly developed 3-D stool scale in children. METHODS: Fifty children were asked to rank the picture cards of the BSFS and 3-D models from hardest to softest and to match the pictures with descriptors for each stool type. RESULTS: Thirty percent of the children appropriately characterized the stools as hard, loose, or normal using the BSFS vs. 36.6% with the 3-D model (p=0.27). Appropriate correlation of stools as hard, loose, or normal consistency using the BSFS vs. the 3-D model by age group was: 6 to 11-year-olds, 27.5% vs. 33.3% (p=0.58) and 12 to 17-year-olds, 32.1% vs. 39.5% (p=0.41). Thirty-three percent correlated the BSFS pictures with the correct BSFS words, 46% appropriately correlated with the M-BSFS words, and 46% correlated the 3-D stool models with the correct wording. CONCLUSIONS: The BSFS and M-BSFS that are widely used as stool assessment instruments are not user-friendly for children. The 3-D model was not found to be better than the BSFS and the M-BSFS.

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