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Measurement framework for the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes research program

Blackwell, Courtney, K.; Wakschlag, Lauren, S.; Gershon, Richard, C.; Cella, Davidwith the ECHO PRO Core

Current Opinion in Pediatrics: April 2018 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 276–284
doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000606

Purpose of review Diverse methodological approaches pose significant challenges to assess environmental exposure effects on child health outcomes. Although transdisciplinary research efforts offer unique opportunities for understanding the complex and multidimensional facets of lifespan health and disease trajectories, a shared measurement strategy is necessary for ensuring cohesion and comprehensibility across disciplines and domains.

Recent findings Exposure science often focuses on one life stage, one primary outcome domain and/or one environmental context without regard for understanding the complexity of exposome pathways and outcomes across a developmental continuum. As part of the National Institutes of Health Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes Program, the Person Reported Outcomes Core developed a unifying measurement framework that takes a lifespan development approach to assess physical, mental and social health outcomes within the complex matrix of environmental exposure pathways.

Summary The proposed framework offers a shared methodological approach to health outcome assessment, with a particular emphasis on person-reported outcomes. This framework will be instrumental for future large-scale consortia and transdisciplinary team science efforts by providing a common structure, measurement guidance and consistent terminology.

Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence to David Cella, PhD, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 633 N. Saint Clair Street, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Tel: +1 312 503 1086; e-mail:

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