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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2001 Jul;43(7):460-5.

Quality of life in preschool children born preterm.

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Department of Health Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


The relationship of preterm birth to health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was examined for children aged 1 to 4 years. Three gestational age groups with a NICU history were selected, <32 weeks (n=65), 32 to 36 weeks (n=41), 237 weeks (n=54), and a reference group from the open population (n=50). The main instrument was the TNO-AZL Preschool Quality Of Life (TAPQOL) questionnaire, which was completed by the parents. In addition, other outcome measures obtained from parents or neonatologists were investigated. Children born <32 weeks had significantly lower HRQoL than the reference group in the scales for lungs, stomach, eating disorders, motor functioning, communication, and anxiety. Parental feelings towards the child were related to the child's HRQoL. We found differences between the neonatologists' and parents' perceptions of the children's situation, which can have clinical consequences (e.g. different opinions about what needed treatment). Neonatal intensive care after birth has HRQoL implications for all children, particularly in children born at <32 weeks of gestation.

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