Background/Aims: To evaluate quality of life (QoL) in adolescents born SGA without spontaneous catch-up growth, treated with and without long-term growth hormone (GH) therapy. Additionally, to assess whether GH treatment has a positive effect on QoL, besides improving adult height and height SDS during childhood. Methods: Two groups of adolescents born SGA without spontaneous catch-up growth participated in the QoL evaluation; a GH-treated group (n = 44, mean GH duration: 8.8 (1.7) years) and an untreated group (n = 28), both mean age 15.8 (2.1) years. QoL was measured by self-reports of the TACQOL-S, a disorder-specific questionnaire, and the CHQ, a generic questionnaire. Results: The GH group scored significantly better health status and health-related QoL on several scales of the TACQOL-S. On all TACQOL-S scales the GH group scored better QoL than the untreated group, with effect sizes of moderate to large, not all differences reaching statistical significance. The generic CHQ did not reveal significant differences in QoL between the GH group and the untreated group. Conclusions: Firstly, adolescents born SGA, with a GH-induced improved height, had in many aspects a better QoL than untreated adolescents born SGA, according to the disorder-specific questionnaire. Secondly, we advise to use, in addition to a generic questionnaire, a disorder-specific questionnaire for measuring QoL in children treated for short stature, as the generic CHQ did not reveal such differences. Copyright

Adolescents, Growth hormone therapy, Quality of life, Short stature, Small for gestational age,
Hormone Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bannink, E.M.N, van Pareren, Y.K, Theunissen, N.C.M, Raat, H, Mulder, P.G.M, & Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S. (2005). Quality of life in adolescents born small for gestational age: Does growth hormone make a difference?. Hormone Research, 64(4), 166–174. doi:10.1159/000088792