Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: Child Development, Quality of Life and Impact on Daily Life

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Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection is the most common congenital infection worldwide and can lead to long-term impairments such as developmental delay. It is currently unknown how this affects the daily life of children and their parents. Children For this study, children with cCMV were identified by testing stored dried blood spots of 31,484 five-year-old children born in 2008 in the Netherlands. Parents of 133 children with cCMV and 274 children without cCMV participated and filled in questionnaires on the child’s development, the child’s and parents’ quality of life, care provided for the children and consequences of cCMV on daily life. School performance reports at 6 years of age were also investigated. Children with cCMV had delays in general and expressive language development more often, and they attended physical therapists more frequently than children without cCMV. School performance of children with cCMV and symptoms at birth was poorer than that of cCMV-negative children with similar symptoms at birth. The quality of life of children with long-term impairment was lower in children with cCMV than those without cCMV. Parents of children with cCMV and long-term impairments reported more physical and concentration problems than parents of children without cCMV. These findings indicate that cCMV has a considerable impact not only on the child’s development and school performance but also on the daily life of children and their parents. The care for children with cCMV should therefore include support for motor and speech-language development as well as family-centered care.

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