Agreement between parent and child report of quality of life in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
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BACKGROUND: There is little information in the research literature of agreement between parent and child in reports of child quality of life (QOL) for a sample of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of our study was to determine whether parent and child concordance is greater for physical domains of QOL than for psychosocial domains; whether parents rate their child's QOL better or poorer than their child's ratings; and whether concordance is related to demographic, socioeconomic or clinical factors. METHODS: The study was a questionnaire survey of children aged 10-17 referred to the ADHD clinic and diagnosed with ADHD in the province of British Columbia (Canada) between November 2001 and October 2002 and their parent. RESULTS: Fifty-eight children diagnosed with ADHD and their parents completed our study questionnaire. The main outcome measure was the Child Health Questionnaire, which permitted comparisons on eight QOL domains and one single item. Intraclass correlation coefficients were moderate for five domains (range from 0.40 to 0.51), and good for three domains (range from 0.60 to 0.75). Children rated their QOL significantly better than their parents in four areas and poorer in one. Standardized Response Means indicated clinically important differences in mean scores for Behaviour and Self-esteem. Compared with population norms, across most domains, children with ADHD reported comparable health. Discrepancies between parent-child ratings were related to the presence of a comorbid oppositional/defiant disorder, a psychosocial stressor and increased ADHD symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Although self-report is an important means of eliciting QOL data, in children with ADHD, given the discrepancies in this study between parent and child report, measuring both perspectives seems appropriate.
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