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Understanding Probability in Children

This study has been terminated.
(Lack of study funding & resources)
Children's Anesthesiology Associates, Ltd.
Information provided by:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Identifier:
First received: January 2, 2008
Last updated: September 14, 2009
Last verified: September 2009
To make medical decisions involving pros and cons, one also has to understand probability and percentages. This is a preliminary study to evaluate the ability of children to understand probability and percentages.

Understanding Probability

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Evaluation of the Understanding of Probability in Children

Further study details as provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • To compare the percentage of children who answer correctly to a set of mathematical questions to verify the ability of children to understand probability and percentages. The results will be compared to those obtained in children nationwide in 2003. [ Time Frame: During pre-operative visit. ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • The secondary objective is to compare the responses between children and parent. [ Time Frame: During the pre-operative visit. ]

Enrollment: 165
Study Start Date: August 2007
Study Completion Date: February 2009
Primary Completion Date: February 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
children between 11 and 13 years of age
children between 14 to 15 years of age
children between 16 and 18 years of age

Detailed Description:

The concept of patients making decisions with respect to their health care is well accepted in adult medicine but, the value and importance of decision making in the care of children is not recognized. The major objection raised against allowing children to express their opinions concerning outcomes is that children do not understand probability.

One way of assessing children's ability to understand probability is to test their mathematical knowledge using tests focused on probability and percentage.

We have designed a set of questionnaires with 10 questions each, taken from the US Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). They are divided into 3 different groups (4th, 8th, and 12th grade), based on grade-level. We have also obtained the average percentage of correct-incorrect answers given to these questions by students nationwide, and the scoring system used to assess the student's proficiency level.

In this preliminary study we intend to present this set of 10 mathematical questions to children and to one of their parents.


Ages Eligible for Study:   11 Years to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
This prospective study will involve one or two encounters with each child and a parent at the Anesthesia Resource Center (ARC) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the second visit at CHOP during the post-operative phase of recovery prior to discharge from the hospital.

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Males or females ages 11 to 18 years.
  2. Spoken and written English as primary language of both parents and children.
  3. Children scheduled to receive anesthesia.
  4. Parental/guardian permission (informed consent) and if appropriate, child assent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Children with known mental retardation, of any nature.
  2. Children who attend schools for children with special needs.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00592800

Sponsors and Collaborators
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Children's Anesthesiology Associates, Ltd.
Principal Investigator: Arjunan Ganesh, MBBS Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  More Information

Responsible Party: Arjunan Ganesh, MBBS, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Identifier: NCT00592800     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2007-1-5125
Study First Received: January 2, 2008
Last Updated: September 14, 2009

Keywords provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:
probability processed this record on June 23, 2017