Health-related quality of life after pediatric spinal cord injury

J Pediatr Psychol. 2011 Mar;36(2):226-36. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsq037. Epub 2010 Apr 30.


Objective: To describe health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among youth with spinal cord injury (SCI), examine agreement between child and caregiver report HRQOL, investigate relationships between HRQOL and demographic, injury and psychological variables.

Methods: Caregivers and youth with SCI completed a pediatric HRQOL measure and mental health measures; injury information was gathered from medical records.

Results: One hundred and ninety-seven youth with SCI and their caregivers participated. HRQOL was associated with current age, age at injury, level of injury and child and caregiver anxiety/depression. Child mental health significantly predicted child-report HRQOL (p < .001, f(2)=1.07), whereas child (p < .001, f(2) = 0.098) and caregiver (p < .001, f(2) = 0.277) mental health both significantly predicted caregiver-report HRQOL. Agreement between child-report and caregiver-report was moderate at best, with youth rating their HRQOL as better than their caregivers.

Conclusion: Mental health of youth and caregivers is critical to HRQOL in pediatric SCI. Interventions to optimize psychological adjustment should be provided to both caregivers and youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression / psychology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Mental Health*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires