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04-05-2019 | Review | Uitgave 7/2019

Quality of Life Research 7/2019

Do 8- to 18-year-old children/adolescents with chronic physical health conditions have worse health-related quality of life than their healthy peers? a meta-analysis of studies using the KIDSCREEN questionnaires

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 7/2019
Neuza Silva, Marco Pereira, Christiane Otto, Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer, Maria Cristina Canavarro, Monika Bullinger
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-019-02189-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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This meta-analytic review aimed to estimate the magnitude of health-related quality of life (HrQoL) impairments, as assessed by the KIDSCREEN questionnaires, both self- and parent-reported, in 8- to 18-years-old children/adolescents with chronic health conditions.


To identify studies using the KIDSCREEN questionnaires, three electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, EBSCOhost Psychology & Behavioral Sciences) were searched. The final search (February 14–15, 2018) revealed 528 non-duplicated articles, of which 23 papers (21 studies) directly compared the HrQoL of pediatric patients to community/healthy controls and were included in the meta-analysis. Pooled mean differences (MD) with 95% CIs were estimated using the inverse-variance random-effects method.


Of the 21 studies, 16 used self-reports, one used parent-reports and four adopted a multi-informant approach. Self-reported data were retrieved from 20 studies (4852 cases/28,578 controls), and parent-reported data were retrieved from four studies (511 cases/433 controls). Pediatric patients presented significant HrQoL impairments in the domains of physical well-being (MD = − 4.84, 95% CI − 6.44/− 3.24 for self-reports; MD = − 6.86, 95% CI − 10.42/− 3.29 for parent-reports) and peers and social support (MD = − 1.29, 95% CI − 2.25/− 0.34 for self-reports; MD = − 3.90, 95% CI − 5.28/− 2.52 for parent-reports), compared to community/healthy peers. Between-studies heterogeneity was explained by diagnostic categories, instrument version and informants.


The identification of significant HrQoL impairments among pediatric patients, specifically in the physical and social domains, highlights the importance of routine psychosocial assessment and intervention in primary pediatric healthcare services. Specific recommendations include the use of profile measures, both self- and parent-reports, and the prioritization of oncology, endocrinology and neurology services.

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