Dr Estella Alonso and colleagues from Illinois, USA conducted a multicenter study to compare health-related quality of life and family function of pediatric liver transplant recipients to those of healthy children.
The research team identified which pretransplant and posttransplant factors impact health-related quality of life and family function.
|Younger children, 2 to 5 years of age, scored lower than controls in global health|
The team collected health-related quality of life data from 102 patients achieving 2-year survival with the Infant
Toddler Quality of Life Instrument or the Child Health Questionnaire Parent Form 50 parent surveys were used.
The team assessed family functioning with the Family Assessment Device completed by each participant's family members.
Demographic and clinical information were retrieved from the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplant database.
The team found recipients 5 years of age and older scored lower than a normative sample in physical health, and general health.
These participants also scored lower in terms of parental emotional impact, and disruption of family activities.
Younger children, 2 to 5 years of age, scored lower than controls in global health, and general health perceptions.
However, these younger children did not differ in subscales measuring physical and psychosocial outcomes.
Univariate analysis among the subscales identified demographic but not clinical variables as significant predictors of health-related quality of life.
The researchers observed that mean scores of Family Assessment Device scales were below published thresholds indicating healthy family functioning.
Dr Alonso's team concluded, "As reported in previous studies, parents of older recipients reported higher levels of stress, although their level of family function appears normal."
"Significant associations were also observed between Family Assessment Device scores and demographic variables, suggesting that further investigation of the impact of race, parental marital status, and socio-economic status on the patient rehabilitation process is needed."