Purpose: The aims were to evaluate the construct validity and reliability of the Dutch version of the pediatric-modified Total Neuropathy Score (ped-mTNS) for assessing vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathy (VIPN) in Dutch pediatric oncology patients aged 5–18 years. Methods: Construct validity (primary aim) of the ped-mTNS was determined by testing hypotheses about expected correlation between scores of the ped-mTNS (range: 0–32) and the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) (range: 0–18) for patients and healthy controls and by comparing patients and controls regarding their total ped-mTNS scores and the proportion of children identified with VIPN. Inter-rater and intra-rater reliability and measurement error (secondary aims) were assessed in a subgroup of study participants. Results: Among the 112 children (56 patients and 56 age- and gender-matched healthy controls) evaluated, correlation between CTCAE and ped-mTNS scores was as expected (moderate (r = 0.60)). Moreover, as expected, patients had significantly higher ped-mTNS scores and more frequent symptoms of VIPN compared with controls (both p <.001). Reliability as measured within the intra-rater group (n = 10) (intra-class correlation coefficient (ICCagreement) = 0.64, standard error of measurement (SEMagreement) = 2.92, and smallest detectable change (SDCagreement) = 8.1) and within the inter-rater subgroup (n = 10) (ICCagreement = 0.63, SEMagreement = 3.7, and SDCagreement = 10.26) indicates insufficient reliability. Conclusion: The Dutch version of the ped-mTNS appears to have good construct validity for assessing VIPN in a Dutch pediatric oncology population, whereas reliability appears to be insufficient and measurement error high. To improve standardization of VIPN assessment in children, future research aimed at evaluating and further optimizing the psychometric characteristics of the ped-mTNS is needed.
Schouten, S. M., van de Velde, M. E., Kaspers, G. J. L., Mokkink, L. B., van der Sluis, I. M., van den Bos, C., ... van den Berg, M. H. (2019). Measuring vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathy in children with cancer: validation of the Dutch pediatric–modified Total Neuropathy Score. Supportive Care in Cancer. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-05106-3