Quality of life and functional outcome in early school-aged children after neonatal stroke: a prospective cohort study.
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology. 2014-05-01; 18(3): 347-353
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BACKGROUND: Quality of life (QoL) is recognized internationally as an efficient
tool for evaluating health interventions. To our knowledge, QoL has not been
specifically assessed in children after neonatal arterial ischemic stroke (AIS).
AIM: To study the QoL of early school-aged children who suffered from neonatal
AIS, and QoL correlation to functional outcome.
METHOD: We conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study as part of a larger
study in full-term newborns with symptomatic AIS. Participating families were
sent anonymous QoL questionnaires (QUALIN). Functional outcome was measured using
the Wee-FIM scale. Healthy controls in the same age range were recruited in
public schools. Their primary caregivers filled in the QUALIN questionnaires
anonymously. We used Student’s t-test and a rank test to compare patients and
controls’ QoL and functional outcomes.
RESULTS: 84 children with neonatal AIS were included. The control group was
composed of 74 children, of which ten were later excluded due to chronic
conditions. Mean ages and QUALIN median scores did not differ between patients
and controls. Median Wee-FIM scores were lower in hemiplegic children than in
non-hemiplegic ones (p < 0.001). QoL scores did not seem correlated to functional
INTERPRETATION: Those results could support the presence of a “disability
paradox” in young children following neonatal AIS.