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Pediatr Nephrol. 2011 Oct;26(10):1881-92. doi: 10.1007/s00467-011-1887-9. Epub 2011 Apr 26.

Kidney transplantation in childhood: mental health and quality of life of children and caregivers.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neurosciences for Children, Women and Children's Division, Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. trond.diseth@oslo-universitetssykehus.no


Our objective was to assess the mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children and their parents after renal transplantation (TX) compared to healthy controls and children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and to identify possible health status variables associated with impaired mental health and HRQOL. Thirty-eight TX children with a median age of 13 (range 3-19) years were investigated. Mental health was assessed by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) 4.0 Generic Core Scales and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ-20). Each mother's own mental health and QOL were assessed by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30) and the Quality of Life Scale (QOLS). Forty children with ALL [median age 11 (8.5-15.4) years] and 42 healthy children [median age 11 (8.9- 15) years] served as controls. Treadmill exercise results from 22 of the 38 patients were included in the analysis. TX children showed significantly higher levels of mental health problems and lower HRQOL at 2 to 16 years after transplantation compared to both control groups. Body mass index and maximal oxygen uptake (nā€‰=ā€‰22/38) were significant predictors of child mental health (SDQ) and child QOL (PedsQL), respectively. Based on these results, we suggest that rehabilitation after TX should include a focus on physical activity and QOL to reduce interconnected physical and psychological morbidity in kidney TX children.

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