Aim: To establish differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adults born term and those born very preterm (VPT) and/or with a very low birth weight (VLBW).
Methods: Our systematic review is preregistered under PROSPERO-ID CRD42018084005. Studies were eligible for inclusion if their authors had stated the HRQoL of adults (18 years or older) born VPT (<32 weeks of gestation) or VLBW (<1500 g of birth weight) had been measured, if written in English, and if they reported a comparison with a control group or valid norms. We searched Pubmed, Scopus, Psycinfo, Web of Science, Embase and contacted experts in this field. Non-response and other bias-related problems were evaluated.
Results: We included 18 studies of 15 unique cohorts from 11 countries. In 11 studies, no differences in HRQoL between VPT or VLBW and term-born adults were found; four studies found lower HRQoL in VPT/VLB adults; and evidence from three studies was inconclusive. Disability, sex and age were associated with HRQoL.
Conclusion: There is no conclusive evidence that HRQoL differs between term-born adults and those born VPT or with a VLBW. The comparability of studies was restricted by differences between HRQoL measurements, age ranges at assessment and definition of disability.
Keywords: health-related quality of life; very low birth weight adults; very preterm adults.
© 2020 The Authors. Acta Paediatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation Acta Paediatrica.