Quality of life in children with psychiatric disorders
Kwaliteit van leven van kinderen met psychiatrische aandoeningen
The objective of the study described in this thesis was to examine several aspects of quality of life (QoL) of children with psychiatric disorders. In Chapter 1, the background and the main aims were presented. Because treatment effects for severe and chronic diseases have been improved in the last decades, QoL emerged as an important outcome measure. For the present thesis, a longitudinal study with two assessments across a one-year follow-up period was conducted among 310 children and adolescents (aged 6-18 years) who had been referred to outpatient mental health agencies. Besides, a community sample of 74 children without psychiatric problems was included. The aims of this study were: (1) to assess the usefulness of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) as an instrument measuring QoL in children with psychiatric problems, (2) to compare QoL of children with psychiatric problems to QoL of children from the general population without psychiatric problems, (3) to compare QoL of children with different psychiatric disorders, (4) to identify factors that are associated with QoL, (5) to determine the course of QoL, and (6) to identify predictors of change in QoL across time.