Impact of Respiratory Syncytial Virus on Child, Caregiver, and Family Quality of Life in the United States: Systematic Literature Review and Analysis

J Infect Dis. 2022 Aug 15;226(Suppl 2):S236-S245. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiac183.


Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in US children, reduces quality of life (QOL) of children, their caregivers, and families.

Methods: We conducted a systematic literature review in PubMed, EconLit, and other databases in the United States of articles published since 2000, derived utility lost per RSV episode from cohort studies, and performed a systematic analysis.

Results: From 2262 unique citations, 35 received full-text review and 7 met the inclusion criteria (2 cohort studies, 4 modeling studies, and 1 synthesis). Pooled data from the 2 cohort studies (both containing only hospitalized premature infants) gave quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) losses per episode of 0.0173 at day 38. From the cohort study that also assessed caregivers' QOL, we calculated net QALYs lost directly attributable to RSV per nonfatal episode from onset to 60 days after onset for the child, caregiver, child-and-caregiver dyad of 0.0169 (167% over prematurity alone), 0.0031, and 0.0200, respectively.

Conclusion: Published data on QOL of children in the United States with RSV are scarce and consider only premature hospitalized infants, whereas most RSV episodes occur in children who were born at term and were otherwise healthy. QOL studies are needed beyond hospitalized premature infants.

Keywords: United States; caregiver; infant; premature; quality of life; quality-adjusted life-year (QALYs); respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); systematic review; utility.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections* / etiology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human*
  • United States / epidemiology