CAHPS Item Set for Children with Chronic Conditions

The Item Set for Children with Chronic Conditions is an extensive set of items that assess the experiences of this population with health plans and health care services. It allows sponsors to compare the experiences of children with special health care needs with those of similar children in other health plans and/or the general population of children in the same plan.

This set of supplemental items for the Health Plan Surveys consists of two types of questions:

  • A five-item screener that classifies children with chronic conditions during the analysis stage after the survey has been administered.
  • A set of supplemental questions regarding the health care experiences of children with chronic conditions.

The questions have been incorporated into the Child Medicaid Questionnaire, where they are highlighted in yellow (PDF, 204 KB). They are available in both English and Spanish.

Read more about the Item Set for Children with Chronic Conditions (PDF, 373 KB).

To download both the survey as well as the descriptive document, go to: Get Health Plan Surveys and Instructions.

Quality Measures from the Item Set for Children with Chronic Conditions

The Item Set for Children with Chronic Conditions produces the following measures for this population:

  • Access to Prescription Medicines
  • Access to Specialized Services
  • Family-Centered Care:
  • Having a Personal Doctor or Nurse who Knows the Child
  • Shared Decisionmaking
  • Getting Needed Information
  • Coordination of Care and Services

Development of the Children's Chronic Condition Set

This item set for children was developed through the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI), with substantial input from the CAHPS Consortium and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). CAHMI’s Living with Illness Task Force advised the organization’s research staff during the development, testing, and refinement of the children's chronic conditions set. To learn more about CAHMI, visit

In 2002, this optional set of items was integrated into the 3.0 version of the CAHPS Health Plan Survey’s child questionnaires. In 2007, the item set was integrated into the Child Medicaid Questionnaire and updated to make it consistent with the 4.0 version of the survey.

Page last reviewed August 2017
Page originally created January 2012
Internet Citation: CAHPS Item Set for Children with Chronic Conditions. Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.