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Differences between adolescents’ and parents’ reports of health-related quality of life in cystic fibrosis

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Britto, M. T.; Kotagal, U. R.; Chenier, T.; Tsevat, J.; Atherton, H. D.; Wilmott, R. W.

Our objective was to determine the magnitude and direction of differences between adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their parents’ reports of the adolescents’ health-related quality of life (HRQOL) as measured by the adolescent and parent versions of the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ). Sixty-two adolescents (mean age, 13.7 years; 46% female; mean forced expired volume in 1 sec, 73%) completed the 87-item adolescent form, and their parents (79% mothers; 77% working full or part time) completed the 50-item parent form of the CHQ during a routine clinic visit. For each scale, ANOVA was used to determine pairwise differences between adolescent and parent scale scores. For scales in which a significant parent-adolescent difference existed, ANCOVA was used to determine disease and demographic factors independently associated with differences in scores. Finally, responses for each pair were compared only on similarly worded items within each scale. For the full CHQ scales, adolescents rated their HRQOL significantly better than did their parents with regard to General Health (mean difference, 12.4 points), Role Function/Physical (mean difference, 9.0 points), Behavior (mean difference, 4.8 points), and Physical Function (mean difference, 4.0 points). No demographic or health factor was associated consistently with differences in parent-adolescent scores. When only similarly worded items were compared, adolescents still tended to rate their HRQOL better, but the difference was significant only for General Health (P = 0.0005), where adolescents rated themselves less susceptible to illness and less worried about their health than their parents. In conclusion, optimal measurement of adolescent HRQOL will likely require determining both parent and adolescent perceptions of HRQOL.

Research abstracts