Assessing Positive Child Health among Individuals Born Extremely Preterm

J Pediatr. 2018 Nov;202:44-49.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.06.037. Epub 2018 Aug 2.


Objective: To assess the development of a Positive Child Health Index (PCHI) based on 11 adverse outcomes and evaluate the association of PCHI with quality of life (QoL) scores in a preterm cohort.

Study design: A total of 889 children enrolled in the Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn (ELGAN) study in 2002-2004 were followed up at 10 years of age. A parent/caregiver completed questionnaires for child QoL, asthma, visual or hearing impairment, gross motor function impairment, epilepsy, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. The child was assessed for cognitive impairment, autism, and obesity. PCHI scores were computed and linear regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between QoL categories (psychosocial, physical, emotional, social, school, and total) and the PCHI (dichotomized and coded as a multilevel categorical predictor) and to assess sex differences.

Results: Among ELGAN children, higher PCHI scores were associated with higher reported QoL scores for all QoL categories. Children with no disorders and a PCHI of 100% had Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory total scores that were 11 points higher than children with 1 or more adverse outcomes (PCHI of <100%). Boys had lower QoL scores for the total, psychosocial, social, and school categories.

Conclusions: Positive child health assessed using a quantitative PCHI was associated with QoL across the ELGAN cohort at school age. In the current study, the PCHI encompassed 11 outcomes assessed in ELGANs. Future research could include an enhanced panel of child health outcomes to support the use of PCHI as an indicator of positive child health.

Keywords: extremely low gestational age newborns; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Health*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Hearing Disorders / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Premature*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vision Disorders / epidemiology