Determinants of quality of life in children with chronic somatic disease: pilot data from the GapS Questionnaire
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PURPOSE: Quality of life (QoL) is a ubiquitous yet poorly defined concept; the precise determinants of QoL are rarely identified. We used pilot data from the GapS Questionnaire to investigate the most important determinants of QoL in children with chronic somatic illness. METHODS: We enrolled 92 participants including 60 parents and 32 of their children. The sample comprised rheumatology, diabetes, epilepsy, gastroenterology, cystic fibrosis, and day unit patients. Trained interviewers administered the GapS Questionnaire to parents, and to children if ≥ 10 years. We determined the relative importance of different items for QoL. RESULTS: Child participants had a mean age of 14.7 years. Children identified "having good friendships", "being happy most days", and "getting along with parents" as most important. Parents ranked most highly "being allowed to do all the things you like doing", "getting told you have done a good job at something", and "being physically able to do everything you enjoy doing". CONCLUSIONS: Physical health items were not as important as social and psychological determinants of QoL in our pilot sample.
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