Objectives: To evaluate quality of life (QOL) and psychosocial adjustment by standardized tests in well-characterized patients with steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome.
Study design: Forty-five patients were investigated at a median age of 9.8 years (range, 3.4 to 19.8) and 5.9 years (range, 0.1 to 16.3) since diagnosis. Child- and parent-rated QOL was evaluated by the The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research Academical Medical Center (TNO-AZL) Child Quality of life Questionnaire. Psychosocial adjustment was assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist and the Teacher Report Form.
Results: In patients, only the QOL subscale "social functioning" was impaired compared with that in control subjects, whereas parents rated 4 of a total of 7 subscales as abnormal. Psychosocial adjustment was impaired at home and at school. Steroid dependency and cytotoxic treatment had a significant negative impact on QOL only, whereas family climate, especially maternal distress, negatively affected both QOL and psychosocial adjustment.
Conclusions: QOL and psychosocial adjustment are impaired in steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome. Both illness-related variables and family climate play an important role.