Long-Term Health-Related Quality of Life in Major Pediatric Trauma: A Pilot Study

Janssens, Loes; Gorter, Jan Willem; Ketelaar, Marjolijn; Kramer, William L. M.; Holtslag, Herman R.
August 2009
European Journal of Trauma & Emergency Surgery;Aug2009, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p371
Academic Journal
Major trauma is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children of developed countries. Little research has been done about the health-related quality of life (HRQL) in these children. The aim of the current research is to describe the HRQL of children in the long term after major trauma and to compare it with healthy peers. A prospective cohort study of severely injured children (ISS ≥ 16, age < 16 years) who survived the trauma and were admitted to the emergency department of a Dutch level 1 trauma center in 1999 and 2000 (n = 40) was conducted. Between 6 and 8 years after trauma (mean 7.3, SD 0.7 years), outcome was assessed by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL 4.0), the EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D), and the EuroQol Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-VAS). The mean age at the time of the accident was 8.9 years (SD 4.6 years), the mean ISS was 24.9 (SD 11.1), and 25 (63%) cases were male; 28 out of 40 patients were followed up. The mean score on the PedsQL was 81.2 and this did not differ significantly from the norm value. On the EQ-5D, more health problems were reported than in a healthy reference population. The mean EQ-VAS score was 79.4 and was significantly lower than in healthy peers. The lowest scores on the PedsQL and the EQ-VAS were seen in teenagers and in respondents with spinal cord and/or severe cerebral injury. The results on HRQL in children in the long term after major trauma are inconclusive. Special attention should be given to teenagers with spinal cord or severe cerebral injury who reported the lowest HRQL.


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