The overall prognosis for children born with gastroschisis is good but requires surgical correction and repeated hospitalisation. However, there has been little research on the impact on the child’s quality of life (QoL). The aim of this pilot study was to assess self-reported QoL in young children born with gastroschisis.Methods
KIDSCREEN-52 is a validated QoL measure developed and normed across 13 European countries for healthy and chronically ill children and adolescents covering ten domains. Children (8–12 years of age) born with gastroschisis, identified from the Northern Congenital Abnormality Survey, agreed to participate. Scores were compared to age-matched UK norms.Results
Ten children (six females, four males, mean age 9.6 years) completed the questionnaire. All children described their health as good/very good or excellent. Seven children said that they were happy with the way they are, eight were seldom or never worried about the way they looked and eight said they would not like to change anything about their body. In six domains (physical wellbeing; moods and emotions; self-perception; relationships with parents; social support and peers; school environment) children with gastroschisis have similar QoL scores to other children. In three domains (psychological wellbeing; autonomy; social acceptance) their QoL scores were significantly better (p < 0.05) and in one domain (financial resources) their scores were significantly lower (p < 0.01).Conclusions
This small study suggests that children with gastroschisis have similar, or better, QoL scores than other children. This will be reassuring to parents. Further work on a larger sample is needed.