Long-term Quality of Life in Neonatal Surgical Disease

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



This prospective observational study was designed to assess Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) after surgical treatment for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), esophageal atresia/tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF), Hirschsprung disease (HD), gastroschisis (GAS), omphalocele (OMP), and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Summary of Background Data:

Improvements in neonatal and surgical care have led to increased survival for many newborn conditions. Quality of life in these patients is seldom explored in a longitudinal manner. We hypothesized that age-adjusted physical and psychosocial scores would improve over time, but with diagnosis-dependent variation.


Data were collected from 241 patients (CDH = 52; EA/TEF = 62; HD = 46; GAS = 32; OMP = 26; NEC = 23) in an institutional Clinical Outcomes Registry (COR) from 2012 to 2017. Aggregate physical, psychosocial, and overall PedsQL scores were determined for each diagnosis. Spline regression models were created to model scores as a function of age.


Physical scores trended up for all diagnoses except CDH and NEC beyond age 10. Psychosocial scores trended up for all diagnoses except NEC and EA/TEF beyond age 10. Beyond age 12, CDH, GAS, and HD patients had overall scores within the normal range, while NEC, OMP, and EA/TEF patients had scores similar to children with chronic medical illness.


Variation exists in long-term PedsQL scores after neonatal surgery for selected, complex disease. Beyond age 12, quality of life is significantly impaired in NEC, moderately impaired in OMP and EA/TEF, and within normal range for CDH, HD, and GAS patients at the population level. These data are relevant to prenatal and perioperative discussions with patients and families.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles