Quality of life of children with neurological impairment who receive a fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease

J Hosp Med. 2007 May;2(3):165-73. doi: 10.1002/jhm.167.


Background: Children with neurological impairment (NI) commonly have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) treated with a fundoplication. The impact of this procedure on quality of life is poorly understood.

Objectives: To examine the quality of life of children with NI who have received a fundoplication for GERD and of their caregivers.

Methods: The study was a prospective cohort study of children with NI and GERD who underwent a fundoplication at a children's hospital between January 1, 2005, and July 7, 2006. Quality of life of the children was assessed with the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) and of the caregivers with the Short-Form Health Survey Status (SF-36) and Parenting Stress Index (PSI), both at baseline and 1 month after fundoplication. Functional status was assessed using the WeeFIM. Repeated-measures analyses were performed.

Results: Forty-four of the 63 parents (70%) were enrolled. The median WeeFIM score was 31.2 versus the age-normal score of 83 (P = .001). Compared with the baseline scores, mean CHQ scores improved over 1 month in the domains of bodily pain (32.8 vs. 47.5, P = .01), role limitations-physical (30.6 vs. 56.6, P = .01), mental health (62.7 vs. 70.6, P = .01), family limitation of activities (43.3 vs. 55.1, P = .03), and parental time (43.0 vs. 55.3, P = .03). The parental SF-36 domain of vitality improved from baseline over 1 month (41.3 vs. 48.2, P = .001), but there were no changes from baseline in Parenting Stress scores.

Conclusions: Parents reported that the quality of life of children with NI who receive a fundoplication for GERD was improved from baseline in several domains 1 month after surgery. The quality of life and stress of caregivers did not improve in nearly all domains, at least in the short term.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fundoplication* / adverse effects
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Utah