Health-related quality of life among adults who experienced maltreatment during childhood

Am J Public Health. 2008 Jun;98(6):1094-100. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.119826. Epub 2008 Apr 29.


Objectives: We sought to assess the difference in a preference-based measure of health among adults reporting maltreatment as a child versus those reporting no maltreatment.

Methods: Using data from a study of adults who reported adverse childhood experiences and current health status, we matched adults who reported childhood maltreatment (n = 2812) to those who reported no childhood maltreatment (n = 3356). Propensity score methods were used to compare the 2 groups. Health-related quality-of-life data (or "utilities") were imputed from the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey using the Short Form-6D preference-based scoring algorithm.

Results: The combined strata-level effects of maltreatment on Short Form-6D utility was a reduction of 0.028 per year (95% confidence interval=0.022, 0.034; P<.001). All utility losses for the childhood-maltreatment versus no-childhood-maltreatment groups by age group were significantly different: 18-39 years, 0.042; 40-49 years, 0.038; 50-59 years, 0.023; 60-69 years, 0.016; 70 or more years, 0.025.

Conclusions: Persons who experienced childhood maltreatment had significant and sustained losses in health-related quality of life in adulthood relative to persons who did not experience maltreatment. These data are useful for assessing the cost-effectiveness of interventions designed to prevent child maltreatment in terms of cost per quality-adjusted life years saved.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • California
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Survivors / psychology