Cognitive and psychosocial outcome of infants dialysed in infancy

Child Care Health Dev. 2003 Jan;29(1):55-61. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2214.2003.00311.x.


Objective: To contribute further to the understanding of cognitive and psychosocial outcome of children with end-stage renal disease undergoing long-term peritoneal dialysis.

Methods: In total, 16 surviving infants at a single centre beginning peritoneal dialysis in the first year of life were studied. The age range of the children at assessment was 1.6-12.1 years. Children were assessed using the Griffiths Mental Development Scales, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition UK, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Information regarding the child's hospital stay and family background was also collated. A Pearson's Product Moment correlation was used to analyse the results.

Results: Although 67% of the children's scores fell within the average range, 87% were within at least two SDs of the norms (mean IQ = 86.6). Psychosocial adjustment measures revealed that 50% of scores fell within the borderline to abnormal category, suggesting that the frequency of psychological difficulties was above that of the normal population.

Conclusions: These findings lend support to recent studies indicating that, developmentally, children undergoing long-term peritoneal dialysis are faring better than in the past. This may indeed be a reflection of improvements in renal treatment and diet. The behavioural results suggest the need to monitor psychological adjustment in this group of children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intelligence*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Social Adjustment