A prospective study on quality of life and traumatic events in early life - a 30-year follow-up

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Abstract

Aim

To investigate the connection between early life trauma and the quality of life some 30 years later in Denmark.

Design

Prospective, longitudinal study with questionnaire-based follow-up survey.

Methods

In 'The Quality of Life Research Study of 10 000 Danes', a newly designed questionnaire was mailed in February 1993 to 7222 persons from the Prospective Paediatric Cohort of persons born at the State University Hospital in Copenhagen (Rigshospitalet) between 1959 and 1961. Response rate was 64% (4626 people between the ages 31-33).

Variables

Mother's attitude towards her pregnancy, child being placed in a children's home, mother using antipsychotic drugs indicating acute, mental illness, child adopted in the first year of life and quality of life of the child 31-33 years later.

Results

Of the early life traumas studied, only relatively weak connections to the quality of life in later life were found.

Conclusions

These relatively weak findings suggest that the children that survive to adulthood are resilient to many adverse events in early life.

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