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01-11-2013 | Uitgave 9/2013

Quality of Life Research 9/2013

Health-related quality of life in children with obstetrical brachial plexus palsy

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2013
Burcu Semin Akel, Çiğdem Öksüz, Deran Oskay, Tüzün Fırat, Ela Tarakcı, Gürsel Leblebicioğlu



We aimed to determine the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of children with obstetrical brachial plexus palsy (OBPP) and examine its association with gender, age, injury level, injured side, and functional status.


We conducted a controlled, cross-sectional study including 70 children with OBPP. Fifty-two age-matched children without any health problems were included as controls. HRQL was assessed with the short parent form of the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-PF28), and functional status was measured using the active movement scale (AMS).


Children with OBPP scored significantly lower on most of the CHQ-PF28 subscales than the healthy controls (p < 0.05). Gender or age did not significantly affect scores in any domain (p > 0.05). CHQ-PF28 scores showed that there were significant differences according to the side of injury between groups, especially in the “parental impact-time” and “family activities” domains (p < 0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in CHQ-PF28 scores between groups that had an upper trunk involvement and total injury groups (p > 0.05), except in the “bodily pain/discomfort” domain (p < 0.05). The AMS score was weakly to moderately correlated with the “mental health” and “parental impact-time” and “general health perceptions” domains.


The study demonstrated that children with OBPP have a poorer HRQL than their healthy peers. Side of injury, limitations in shoulder flexion, shoulder internal rotation, elbow flexion, elbow extension, and forearm supination were important factors affecting the HRQL of the children. The health concepts and factors discussed in the study can guide clinicians aiming to improve QoL of children with OBPP.

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