Associations between a functional independence measure (WeeFIM) and the pediatric quality of life inventory (PedsQL4.0) in young children with physical disabilities

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Abstract

Objectives

To determine the association between functional status, measured by the WeeFIM and health-related quality of life (HRQL), measured by the PedsQL4.0 for children with physical disabilities. To explore child, parent and service-related factors associated with each of these measures.

Patients

Parents of 115 children (2–5 years) with physical disabilities who were referred to occupational (OT) or physical therapy (PT). Mean age of the children was 3 years 7 months (±10 months), 79 were boys and 67 were diagnosed with global developmental delay.

Results

Children had more difficulties with self-care tasks and cognitive abilities, as compared to mobility activities on the WeeFIM. The correlation between total WeeFIM and total PedsQL4.0 was r = 0.39. WeeFIM mobility and self-care quotients were each fairly correlated with PedsQL-Physical Health Summary Score (rs = 0.29 and rs = 0.28 respectively). There was no significant association between WeeFIM cognition quotient and each of PedsQL scores (rs = 0.03–0.05). The receipt of PT services was highly associated (p<0.001) with lower scores on the PedsQL-Physical Health Summary score, PedsQL-Total score, and WeeFIM mobility quotient.

Conclusion

The WeeFIM and the PedsQL4.0 appear to assess related but different constructs, supporting the need to incorporate complementary measures when measuring general health of children with disabilities.

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