Children With Anorectal Malformations, Hirschsprung Disease, and Their Siblings: Proxy Reports and Self-Reports

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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of the present study was to compare parent proxy reports with that of self-reports of children with anorectal malformations (ARMs) or Hirschsprung disease (HD) and healthy siblings and thereafter was examine whether these comparisons differed between patients and their siblings.

Methods:

Parents (n = 98) of either children with ARM (n = 44) or HD (n = 54) and a healthy sibling (n = 98) recruited from the 6 Dutch pediatric surgical centers and from the ARM and HD patient societies were included in this cross-sectional multilevel study. Agreement between child self-reports and parent proxy reports was compared through mean differences and through (intraclass) correlations. We conducted multilevel analyses to take dependencies between assessments within families into account.

Results:

All of the children (children with ARM or HD and their siblings) reported more pain and symptoms than their parents reported. We also found that only children with ARM or HD reported less positive emotions than their parents. Furthermore, higher correlations were found between parent proxy reports and patient-self reports than between parent proxy reports and sibling self-reports on cognitive functioning and social interaction.

Conclusions:

Parents tend to overestimate the physical functioning of both their ill and healthy children, and overestimate the emotional functioning of only their children with ARM or HD. Furthermore, children with ARM or HD and parents agree more on health-related quality of life domains than healthy children and parents.

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