There is increasing interest in the validation of pediatric preference-based health-related quality of life measurement instruments. It is critical that children with various degrees of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) impact are included in validation studies. To inform patient sample selection for validation studies from a pragmatic perspective, this study explored HRQoL impairments between known-groups and HRQoL changes over time across 27 common chronic child health conditions and identified conditions with the largest impact on HRQoL.
The health dimensions of two common preference-based HRQoL measures, the EQ-5D-Y and CHU9D, were constructed using Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory items that overlap conceptually. Data was from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, a nationally representative sample with over 10,000 children at baseline. Seven waves of data were included for the analysis, with child age ranging from 2 to18 years. Impacts to specific health dimensions and overall HRQoL between those having a specific condition versus not were compared using linear mixed effects models. HRQoL changes over time were obtained by calculating the HRQoL differences between two consecutive time points, grouped by “Improved” and “Worsened” health status. Comparison among various health conditions and different age groups (2–4 years, 5–12 years and 13–18 years) were made.
Conditions with the largest statistically significant total HRQoL impairments of having a specific condition compared with not having the condition were recurrent chest pain, autism, epilepsy, anxiety/depression, irritable bowel, recurrent back pain, recurrent abdominal pain, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for the total sample (2–18 years). Conditions with largest HRQoL improvement over time were anxiety/depression, ADHD, autism, bone/joint/muscle problem, recurrent abdominal pain, recurrent pain in other part, frequent headache, diarrhea and day-wetting. The dimensions included in EQ-5D-Y and CHU9D can generally reflect HRQoL differences and changes. The HRQoL impacts to specific health dimensions differed by condition in the expected direction. The conditions with largest HRQoL impacts differed by age group.
The conditions with largest HRQoL impact were identified. This information is likely to be valuable for recruiting patient samples when validating pediatric preference-based HRQoL instruments pragmatically.