Face and content validity of variables associated with the difficult-to-sedate child in the paediatric intensive care unit: A survey of paediatric critical care clinicians.

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Lebet: 0000-0001-6805-9461

Curley: 0000-0001-5228-6694

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Australian critical care : official journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses

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BACKGROUND: Clinicians recognise that some critically ill children are difficult-to-sedate. It may be possible to identify this clinical phenotype for sedation response using statistical modelling techniques adopted from machine learning. This requires identification of a finite number of variables to include in the statistical model.

OBJECTIVE: To establish face and content validity for 17 candidate variables identified in the international literature as characteristic of the difficult-to-sedate child phenotype.

METHODS: Paediatric critical care clinicians rated the relevance of 17 variables characterising the difficult-to-sedate child using a four-point scale ranging from not (1) to highly relevant (4). Face and content validity of these variables were assessed by calculating a mean score for each item and computing an item-level content validity index. Items with a mean score >1 were rated as having adequate face validity. An item-level content validity index ≥0.70 indicated good to excellent content validity.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Web-based survey emailed to members of the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators Network or the Society of Critical Care Medicine Pediatric Sedation Study Group.

RESULTS: Of 411 possible respondents, 121 useable surveys were returned for a response rate of 29%. All items had a mean score >1, indicating adequate face validity. Ten of 17 items scored an item-level content validity index ≥0.70. The highest scoring items were requiring three or more sedation classes simultaneously, daily modal sedation score indicating agitation, sedation score indicating agitation for 2 consecutive hours, receiving sedatives at a dose >90th percentile of the usual starting dose, and receiving intermittent paralytic doses for sedation.

CONCLUSIONS: Computation of an item-level content validity index validated variables to include in statistical modelling of the difficult-to-sedate phenotype. The results indicate consensus among paediatric critical care clinicians that the majority of candidate variables identified through literature review are characteristic of the difficult-to-sedate child.


Conscious Sedation, Critical Care, Critical Illness, Humans, Intensive Care Units, Pediatric, Phenotype, Reproducibility of Results, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Failure



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