Children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently undergo clinical assessments, involving triadic communication between clinician, parent, and child. During such encounters parents are traditionally the main communicator of information on their child’s IBD, including subjective symptom reports. The level of agreement between children and their parents for IBD symptoms is poorly understood, and this study aimed to examine this factor.
This was a cross-sectional study among children with IBD, and one parent. A validated paediatric IBD symptom report tool (IBDnow) enabled children and their parent to rate seven pain, well-being, and stool metrics, with dyads completing the tool concurrently. Results were assessed using: Individual agreement: proportion of identical symptom reports by each dyad (ideal score >0.7); Category agreement: percentage of identical reports for IBDnow metrics for the cohort; Inter-rater reliability: Gwet’s AC1 coefficient with higher scores indicating better reliability (maximum=1).
Seventy-four parent/child dyads participated; child’s mean age 12.2 years (standard deviation [SD] 2.9, range 6-16), mean time since diagnosis 2.8 years (SD 3), 54% female, 73% had Crohn’s Disease. Mean individual agreement level was 0.6, with 27% of dyads agreeing on ≥6/7 IBDnow metrics. Category agreement was reported by 61% of dyads, 20% of parents overestimated, and 19% underestimated, their child’s symptoms. Inter-rater reliability ranged from fair to good.