English publication


In a randomised controlled study we evaluated the effect of 3 years of GH treatment on the health status (HS) and the emotional feelings towards HS, called the health related quality of life (HRQOL). In a randomised study design we compared GH-treated short children born SGA (n=58) with untreated children born SGA (n=27). At start of the study the children were 5 - 7 years of age. We used two different questionnaires, the TNO-AZL Children's Quality of life (TACQOL), a generic questionnaire and the TACQOL-Short Stature, a recently developed specific questionnaire for short children. Both questionnaires were completed by the parentsThe generic TACQOL did not show a significant difference between the GH group and control group in HS and HRQOL at start of the study, after 3 years only physical functioning was significantly improved in the GH group. In contrast, the TACQOL-Short Stature showed that SGA children who were treated with GH for 3 years had a significantly better quality of life with respect to their physical abilities, vitality, contact with peers, contact with adults, body image and future prospects compared to the untreated SGA children. The TACQOL-Short Stature showed a positive correlation between height SDS and HRQOL with regard to physical abilities, contact with peers, contact with adults, body image and future prospects. The discrepancy between the outcome of the two questionnaires shows the relevance of using a disorder specific instrument.
In conclusion, our study shows that short children born SGA have disorder-specific problems and for this reason a specific questionnaire is more sensitive for measuring quality of life in short children than a generic questionnaire which has more reference to children with a chronic illness. We demonstrated that GH treatment in children born SGA improves aspects of quality of life that are specific for children with a short stature.


Body Image, Children, Growth Hormone, Growth Hormone Therapy, Health Related Quality of Life, Health Status, Illnesses, Instrument, Quality of Life, Questionnaires, short stature, Small for Gestational age

picture of N.C.M. Theunissen

Last updated on 12 February, 2015.