ADHD negatively impacts aspects of physical, emotional, social and school life in children and adolescents, according to results of a recent meta-analysis.
Researchers examined the impact of ADHD on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of children and adolescents with ADHD compared with typically developing controls, using both parent and child self-reports.
Of nine studies identified by a systematic literature search, seven used the Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM (PedsQLTM) to measure HRQoL and were combined in a meta-analysis to examine the magnitude of impact of ADHD on children/adolescents across different domains (physical, psychosocial), and the discrepancy between parent/child reports and associated moderators.
Results of the meta-analysis indicated that children/adolescents with ADHD had a worse overall HRQoL compared with controls, according to the overall mean effect size of both parent-rated (g=-0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.53, -0.40; p=0.001) and child-rated (g=-0.91; 95% CI -1.53, -0.40; p<0.001) measures. Furthermore, whilst the physical domain was only moderately impacted, psychosocial domains (emotional, social and school) were severely impacted by ADHD.
Meta-regression analysis found that age significantly moderated HRQoL; parent and child reports agreed that older children and adolescents with ADHD had a worse HRQoL across physical and emotional domains compared with controls.
Furthermore, ratings of HRQoL did not differ significantly between children/adolescents with ADHD and their parents compared with controls, despite considerable variability in the findings of individual studies.
In all, although this research was limited to only studies that measured HRQoL with the PedsQLTM, the researchers concluded that these findings increase the understanding of the magnitude of impact of ADHD on HRQoL, and support the assessment of HRQoL from both a parent and child perspective.
Read more about parent- and child-reported quality of life here
Lee YC, Yang HJ, Chen VC, et al. Meta-analysis of quality of life in children and adolescents with ADHD: by both parent proxy-report and child self-report using PedsQL™. Res Dev Disabil 2016; 51-52: 160-172.