The use of health-related quality of life scales as outcome measures in clinical trials is increasing. Although such measures have been validated in adults with Friedreich ataxia, they have not been studied in children with this disorder. The health-related quality of life of children with Friedreich ataxia was assessed using the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Module and Multidimensional Fatigue Scale. The scores from the Friedreich ataxia cohort were compared to those of control groups (children without a chronic disease). Minimal missing responses support the feasibility of using the PedsQL 4.0 in the Friedreich ataxia population. The scales demonstrated internal consistency, and concordance was observed between child and proxy scores. Children with Friedreich ataxia and their proxies reported lower health-related quality of life than did controls in the Core and Fatigue scales. A modest relationship was seen between markers of disease status and health-related quality of life, providing support for the idea that children with Friedreich ataxia have a lower health-related quality of life than those without a chronic disease. Additional studies are needed to examine the relationship between health-related quality of life and disease markers and to further establish the validity of the PedsQL 4.0 in this population.
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