OBJECTIVE: Health related quality of life (HRQL) of children using medical technology at home is largely unknown. Our aim was to examine the HRQL in children on long-term ventilation at home (LTHV) in comparison to a cohort using an enterostomy tube. STUDY DESIGN: Participants were divided into three groups: 1) LTHV without an enterostomy tube (LTHV cohort); 2) Enterostomy tube (GT cohort); 3) LTHV with an enterostomy tube (LTHV+GT cohort). Caregivers of children >/= 5 years and followed at SickKids, Toronto, Canada, completed three questionnaires: Health Utilities Index 2/3 (HUI2/3), Caregiver Priorities Caregiver Health Index (CPCHILD), and the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). The primary outcome was the difference in utility (HUI2/3) scores between the cohorts. RESULTS: One hundred and nineteen children were enrolled; 47 in the LTHV cohort, 44 in the GT cohort, and 28 in the LTHV+GT cohort. In univariate analysis, HUI2 mean (SE) scores were lowest for the GT cohort, 0.4 (0.04) followed by the LTHV+GT, 0.42 (0.05) and then the LTHV cohort, 0.7 (0.04), p = 0.001. A similar trend was seen for the HUI3 mean (SE) scores: GT cohort, 0.1 (0.06), followed by the LTHV +GT cohort, 0.2 (0.08) and then the LTHV cohort, 0.5 (0.06), p = 0.0001. Technology cohort, nursing hours and the severity of health care needs predicted HRQL as measured by the HUI2/3. CONCLUSION: The HRQL of these children is low. Children on LTHV had higher HRQL than children using enterostomy tubes. Further work is needed to identify modifiable factors that can improve HRQL.