To quantify and understand how to assess the quality of life and health-related QoL of parents with children with congenital abnormalities.
We conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis. The search was carried out in 5 bibliographic databases and in ClinicalTrials.gov. No restriction on language or date of publication was applied. This was complemented by references of the studies found and studies of evidence synthesis, manual search of abstracts of relevant congresses/scientific meetings and contact with experts.
We included primary studies (observational, quasi-experimental and experimental studies) on parents of children with CA reporting the outcome quality of life (primary outcome) of parents, independently of the intervention/exposure studied.
We included 75 studies (35 observational non-comparatives, 31 observational comparatives, 4 quasi-experimental and 5 experimental studies). We identified 27 different QoL instruments. The two most frequently used individual QoL instruments were WHOQOL-Bref and SF-36. Relatively to family QoL tools identified, we emphasized PedsQL FIM, IOFS and FQOL. Non-syndromic congenital heart defects were the CA most frequently studied. Through the analysis of comparative studies, we verified that parental and familial QoL were impaired in this population.
This review highlights the relevance of assessing QoL in parents with children with CA and explores the diverse QoL assessment tools described in the literature. Additionally, results indicate a knowledge gap that can help to draw new paths to future research. It is essential to assess QoL as a routine in healthcare providing and to implement strategies that improve it.