English publication

Theunissen, N.C.M., Kaptein, A.A., Koopman, H.M., Vogels, A.G.C., & Wit, J.M. (1999). Ch. 7: Quality of life in children in a longitudinal perspective: an exploratory review. In: Theunissen, N.C.M.,  Health related quality of life in children. Ph.D. Thesis Leiden University Medical Center. Ridderkerk, The Netherlands: Ridderprint (ISBN: 90-9013294-5.

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Objective: This paper explores the time variability of quality of life (QoL) in children between 0 to 12 years of age. Design: A systematic review of original studies, with at least two QoL assessments, and published between 1966 and 1998. The publications were identified from medical and psychological sources by computerised searches followed by manual selection. Data synthesis: The 32 selected publications were discussed according to their general characteristics, QoL assessment, longitudinal QoL research design and approaches to what changes QoL. Main results: Only two publications met all QoL assessment requirements (multi-factorial, self-administered, subjective) as well as longitudinal requirements (clear description of assessment period, recall period, sample size at end of study, longitudinal statistics). The approach to change that underlie the 32 publications can be described as: stable physical health gives stable QoL and changes in physical health change QoL. This mixed model can not be supported by current scientific knowledge. Conclusions: More studies are needed that meet QoL assessment requirements as well as longitudinal requirements. It should be acknowledged that psychological, social and situational variables can change QoL as well. Discussion is necessary about what exactly changes QoL, as this influences the planning of the assessments and guides the interpretation of changes.


quality of life; health related quality of life; children; paediatric; literature review; longitudinal studies; follow-up;

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Last updated on 12 February, 2015.