Development of a self-efficacy scale for children and adolescents with epilepsy

Deirdre Caplin, Joan K. Austin, David W. Dunn, Jianzhao Shen, Susan Perkins

28 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to develop and test the psychometric properties of a Seizure Self-Efficacy Scale for Children (SSES-C). An initial pool of test items was generated using a variety of resources, including literature reviews, child self-efficacy measures from other chronic diseases, and self-efficacy measures for adult patients with epilepsy. Experts in the field of self-efficacy, chronic illness self-management, and behavioral management of seizure disorders were asked to evaluate item content and readability. The scale was administered via computer-assisted telephone interviews to 175 children ages 9 through 14 years who had had epilepsy for 6 months or more. Content validity of the SSES-C was ensured by 80% agreement on test items by experts. The final version of the scale has 15 items. Construct validity was supported by factor analysis and correlation of the SSES-C to other constructs of influence on the health behavior of children with epilepsy. Specifically, the SSES-C was significantly correlated with attitude toward illness, worry, unmet needs for psychosocial care, child depression, and child self-concept. Internal consistency reliability for the measure was also adequate (α =.93). The primary result of this study was the development of an easily administered and useful 15-item scale to measure the degree of self-efficacy experienced by children and adolescents related to the management of their seizure disorder. The SSES-C is a promising questionnaire that has potential for use as a clinical and research tool to measure self-efficacy in children with seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-309
Number of pages15
JournalChildren's Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


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