Critical Review of Measurement Issues in Quality of Life Assessment for Children With Growth Problems
Ingela Wiklund Ann Erling Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland The University of Bergen
With the increasing supply of biosynthetic growth hormone (GH), more children of short stature (e.g., whose height is less than two standard deviations below the means for their age) with GH insufficiency are undergoing substitution therapy. This development has heightened the need for evaluation of the impact of short stature and GH insufficiency and the treatment of GH insufficiency. The evaluation of effects of treatment of GH insufficiency is commonly based on objective measures such as height, weight, body composition, or bone diameter. Such measures do not, however, reflect how the child perceives his or her situation in terms of potential psychosocial consequences; neither do they represent valid indicators of QOL.
A wide range of different measures has been used to assess psychosocial outcomes including QOL among children with GH insufficiency including emotional states, which have been most commonly monitored via proxy respondents, such as parents or teachers, or based on clinical observation of the child ( Money & Pollit, 1966; Stabler & Underwood, 1986), rather