Cognitive interviews assess respondents' understanding of questionnaire items and are increasingly used to improve instrument design. Although investigators have described the contributions of cognitive interviews for instrument development, few guidelines are available for analyzing data from cognitive interviews when they are used for that purpose. In this article we address the development and application of analytic strategies for summarizing, interpreting, and using data from cognitive interviews that were conducted during the process of creating a measure of parental management of childhood chronic conditions. We discuss the contribution of cognitive interviews to establishing content validity and address the importance of developing standardized guidelines for analyzing and interpreting cognitive interviews in order to maximize their usefulness for instrument development. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.