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01-04-2015 | Review | Uitgave 10/2015

Quality of Life Research 10/2015

Health-related quality of life among children, young people and adults with esophageal atresia: a review of the literature and recommendations for future research

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 10/2015
Michaela Dellenmark-Blom, John Eric Chaplin, Vladimir Gatzinsky, Linus Jönsson, Kate Abrahamson
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-015-0975-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Esophageal atresia (EA) is a rare congenital malformation requisite of surgical treatment. Survival rates have significantly increased in recent decades, but treated children are at risk of chronic morbidity. This study aims to review the literature on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with EA and describe the questionnaires used.


A literature search was conducted in Pubmed, Cinahl and PsycINFO, from inception to January 2015. A meta-analysis of studies investigating HRQOL in patients with EA compared to healthy references was performed. The effect size was calculated as Cohen’s d.


Twelve articles (published 1995–2014) describing HRQOL among children, young people and adults were identified. Only European studies were found, and these had variable sample sizes (8–128). Overall HRQOL was reported to be reduced in five of the seven studies that compared overall HRQOL with a healthy reference population. Impaired physical or general health was described in eight articles. In the meta-analysis, eight eligible studies provided 16 estimates of the effect of EA, six of which reached statistical significance for worse HRQOL (p < 0.05). Using Cohen’s criteria, the pooled estimate of the effect of EA was small for overall and physical HRQOL, and <0.2 for the mental and social HRQOL components. Altogether, 15 different questionnaires were used, and none were condition specific for EA.


Different findings are reported; however, this study suggests that patients with EA may have a reduced HRQOL. Moreover, HRQOL is not adequately measured in this group. Additional research is required.

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Extra materiaal
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 25 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 35 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 22 kb)
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