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Brain Inj. 2011;25(13-14):1288-95. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2011.613090. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

Health-related quality-of-life and behavioural outcome in survivors of childhood meningitis.

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Fraser of Allander Neurosciences Unit, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Erratum in

  • Brain Inj. 2012;26(1):106.



To describe behavioural and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) outcomes in survivors of childhood meningitis and identify variables predictive of psychosocial outcome.


Psychosocial outcomes were measured via parent and teacher report using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL Core & Fatigue versions). Participants were 346[corrected] consecutive survivors admitted to a regional children's hospital (1991-2007). One hundred and twelve of 346 (32%) [corrected] returned postal questionnaires and file review confirmed diagnosis in 100 cases.


At a mean of 8 years post-illness 32% of parents and 19% of teachers reported clinically significant behavioural difficulties on the SDQ; along with significantly lowered HRQoL on PedsQL measures. Later sequelae such as learning disability and hearing/visual impairment, along with socioeconomic status, independently predicted behavioural and HRQoL outcome on regression analysis. Acute disease complications were associated with later occurrence of epilepsy, learning disability and visual impairment, but not directly with psychosocial outcomes at time of follow-up.


Survivors with these sequelae should be screened for emotional and behavioural difficulties during key developmental transitions such as school entry. These findings strongly support recent UK clinical guidelines (NICE and SIGN) proposing that parents be made aware of possible psychological complications on discharge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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