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The quality of life of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review

      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


      Quality of life (QoL) describes an individual’s subjective perception of their position in life as evidenced by their physical, psychological, and social functioning. QoL has become an increasingly important measure of outcome in child mental health clinical work and research. Here we provide a systematic review of QoL studies in children and young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and address three main questions. (1) What is the impact of ADHD on QoL? (2) What are the relationships between ADHD symptoms, functional impairment and the mediators and moderators of QoL in ADHD? (3) Does the treatment of ADHD impact on QoL? Databases were systematically searched to identify research studies describing QoL in ADHD. Thirty six relevant articles were identified. Robust negative effects on QoL are reported by the parents of children with ADHD across a broad range of psycho-social, achievement and self evaluation domains. Children with ADHD rate their own QoL less negatively than their parents and do not always seeing themselves as functioning less well than healthy controls. ADHD has a comparable overall impact on QoL compared to other mental health conditions and severe physical disorders. Increased symptom level and impairment predicts poorer QoL. The presence of comorbid conditions or psychosocial stressors helps explain these effects. There is emerging evidence that QoL improves with effective treatment. In conclusion, ADHD seriously compromises QoL especially when seen from a parents’ perspective. QoL outcomes should be included as a matter of course in future treatment studies.

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      Most cited references 85

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      EuroQol--a new facility for the measurement of health-related quality of life.

      In the course of developing a standardised, non-disease-specific instrument for describing and valuing health states (based on the items in Table 1), the EuroQol Group (whose members are listed in the Appendix) conducted postal surveys in England, The Netherlands and Sweden which indicate a striking similarity in the relative valuations attached to 14 different health states. The data were collected using a visual analogue scale similar to a thermometer. The EuroQol instrument is intended to complement other quality-of-life measures and to facilitate the collection of a common data set for reference purposes. Others interested in participating in the extension of this work are invited to contact the EuroQol Group.
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        The World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL): position paper from the World Health Organization.

        This paper describes the World Health Organization's project to develop a quality of life instrument (the WHOQOL). It outlines the reasons that the project was undertaken, the thinking that underlies the project, the method that has been followed in its development and the current status of the project. The WHOQOL assesses individuals' perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It has been developed collaboratively in several culturally diverse centres over four years. Piloting of the WHOQOL on some 4500 respondents in 15 cultural settings has been completed. On the basis of this data the revised WHOQOL Field Trial Form has been finalized, and field testing is currently in progress. The WHOQOL produces a multi-dimensional profile of scores across six domains and 24 sub-domains of quality of life.
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          PedsQL 4.0: reliability and validity of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory version 4.0 generic core scales in healthy and patient populations.

           James Varni,  P Kurtin,  M Seid (2001)
          The PedsQL (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory) (Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego, California) is a modular instrument for measuring health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children and adolescents ages 2 to 18. The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales are multidimensional child self-report and parent proxy-report scales developed as the generic core measure to be integrated with the PedsQL Disease-Specific Modules. The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales consist of 23 items applicable for healthy school and community populations, as well as pediatric populations with acute and chronic health conditions. The 4 PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales (Physical, Emotional, Social, School) were administered to 963 children and 1,629 parents (1,677 subjects accrued overall) recruited from pediatric health care settings. Item-level and scale-level measurement properties were computed. Internal consistency reliability for the Total Scale Score (alpha = 0.88 child, 0.90 parent report), Physical Health Summary Score (alpha = 0.80 child, 0.88 parent), and Psychosocial Health Summary Score (alpha = 0.83 child, 0.86 parent) were acceptable for group comparisons. Validity was demonstrated using the known-groups method, correlations with indicators of morbidity and illness burden, and factor analysis. The PedsQL distinguished between healthy children and pediatric patients with acute or chronic health conditions, was related to indicators of morbidity and illness burden, and displayed a factor-derived solution largely consistent with the a priori conceptually-derived scales. The results demonstrate the reliability and validity of the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales. The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales may be applicable in clinical trials, research, clinical practice, school health settings, and community populations.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
            [2 ]School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
            [3 ]Social, Genetic, Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
            [4 ]Child Study Center, New York University, New York, USA
            [5 ]Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Gent, Ghent, Belgium
            [6 ]Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany
            [7 ]Department of Psychiatry, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands
            [8 ]University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
            [9 ]University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
            [10 ]Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK
            [11 ]University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany
            [12 ]Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            [13 ]University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
            [14 ]Cagliari University, Cagliari, Italy
            [15 ]Centre for Neuroscience, Division of Medicine, University of Dundee, 19 Dudhope Terrace, Dundee, DD3 6HH UK
            +44-1382204004 ,
            Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry
            European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
            D. Steinkopff-Verlag (Heidelberg )
            26 July 2009
            26 July 2009
            February 2010
            : 19
            : 2
            : 83-105
            © Springer-Verlag 2009
            Review Article
            Custom metadata
            © Springer-Verlag 2010


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