Comparison of Caregiver- and Child-Reported Quality of Life in Children With Sleep-Disordered Breathing

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Jan;168(1):74-81. doi: 10.1177/01945998221083288.


Objective: Caregivers frequently report poor quality of life (QOL) in children with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Our objective is to assess the correlation between caregiver- and child-reported QOL in children with mild SDB and identify factors associated with differences between caregiver and child report.

Study design: Analysis of baseline data from a multi-institutional randomized trial SETTING: Pediatric Adenotonsillectomy Trial for Snoring, where children with mild SDB (obstructive apnea-hypopnea index <3) were randomized to observation or adenotonsillectomy.

Methods: The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) assessed baseline global QOL in participating children 5 to 12 years old and their caregivers. Caregiver and child scores were compared. Multivariable regression assessed whether clinical factors were associated with differences between caregiver and child report.

Results: PedsQL scores were available for 309 families (mean child age, 7.0 years). The mean caregiver-reported PedsQL score was higher at 75.2 (indicating better QOL) than the mean child-reported score of 67.9 (P < .001). The agreement between caregiver and child total PedsQL scores was poor, with intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.03 (95% CI, -0.09 to 0.15) for children 5 to 7 years old and 0.21 (95% CI, 0.03-0.38) for children 8 to 12 years old. Higher child age and health literacy were associated with closer agreement between caregiver and child report.

Conclusion: Caregiver- and child-reported global QOL in children with SDB was weakly correlated, more so for young children. In pediatric SDB, child-perceived QOL may be poorer than that reported by caregivers. Further research is needed to assess whether similar trends exist for disease-specific QOL metrics.

Keywords: PedsQL; caregiver report; child report; quality of life; sleep-disordered breathing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Caregivers*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes* / surgery
  • Snoring