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01-08-2014 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 6/2014

Quality of Life Research 6/2014

Health-related quality of life of children and adolescents with functional disabilities in a northern Swedish county

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2014
Erik Domellöf, Ludmilla Hedlund, Pia Ödman



Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) studies in children and adolescents with disabilities tend to report lower self-reported health than in the typical population. However, reports are not always consistent and HRQoL appears to vary depending on diagnosis, cultural setting and clinical context. The aim of this study was to explore HRQoL in children and adolescents with various disabilities in Västerbotten County, Sweden.


A total of 175 children and adolescents [57 girls, 118 boys; mean age 11.7 years (range 7–17 years)] divided into four different diagnostic groups (intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, movement disorders and hearing disabilities) participated in the study. The EuroQol Five Dimensions Health Questionnaire, Youth version (EQ-5D-Y) was used as HRQoL measure.


Significant differences in various EQ-5D-Y dimensions between the different diagnostic groups were found, but no differences in overall health status. HRQoL in children and adolescents with hearing disabilities was found similar to the typical child population in Sweden whereas children and adolescents with other diagnoses reported evidently more problems.


Findings suggest that there is an increased risk for children with functional disabilities other than hearing disabilities in northern Sweden to experience difficulties in various health domains and lowered general health.

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