English conference proceeding


We evaluated whether long-term growth hormone therapy (GHRx) in children born SGA, which results in a normal childhood and adult height, is accompanied by a better quality of life (QoL). Two groups of adolescents born SGA were analysed and compared with references.
METHODS: A generic child health questionnaire (CHQ) and a condition specific questionnaire, the TNO-AZL Childrens QoL-Short Stature(TACQOL-S).
RESULTS: CHQ: GH-group had better effect sizes [(mean GH-mean ref.)/highest SD] on 'social-behavior', 'behavior', 'mental health' and 'self esteem' compared to references, however without reaching significant differences. The U-group showed on all the scales of the CHQ lower effect sizes than the GH-group and the references. There were no sign. differences between the GH and the U-group. TACQOL-S: Effect size=[(mean GH-mean U)/highest SD]. Fig. shows effect sizes of the differences between the GH-group and the U-group, indicating that the QoL in the GH-group was better on all scales with a moderate to large effect. Health status: quantity of problems (HS); Health related Qo: emotional impact of the problems (HRQOL). Effect size is small if <0.5; moderate if 0.5-0.8 and large if =0.8. Difference GH compared to U-group: *p<0.05, **p<0.01.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that children born SGA, treated with long-term GHRx, show significantly better QoL in physical abilities and contact with adults than untreated children born SGA, when measured with the condition specific TACQOL-S. In addition the GH-group shows also better QoL on all other scales of the specific TACQoL-S compared to U-group, and had better effect sizes than the U-group on all scales of the generic CHQ when compared to references, however without reaching significance. Our study indicates that evaluation of QoL in short children and the effect of GHRx on QoL should be performed with a condition specific questionnaire.


Quality of Life, Small Stature, SGA, Small for Gastational Age, Children, Growth Hormone Therapy, Height, Child, Questionnaire, Social Behavior, Mental Health, TACQOL, Health Status, Self Esteem

picture of N.C.M. Theunissen

Last updated on 12 February, 2015.