Cost-effectiveness evaluations of interventions to prevent or treat spina bifida require quality of life information measured as preference scores. Preference scores of caregivers also may be relevant. This study tested whether the preference scores of children with spina bifida and their caregivers would decrease as disability in the child increased. Families of children aged 0-17 with spina bifida (N = 98) were identified using a birth defect surveillance system in the state of Arkansas. Primary caregivers of children with spina bifida identified other families with an unaffected child (N = 49). Preference scores for child health states were determined using the Health Utilities Index--Mark 2 (HUI2). Caregiver preference scores were determined using the Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale. Children with spina bifida were categorized into three disability levels according to the location of the child's lesion. Mean preference scores declined for both affected children and the primary caregiver as disability in the child increased. In multivariate analysis, the preference score of the child was a significant and positive predictor of the primary caregiver's preference score. A more modest association was found for caregiver health preference scores by lesion location. The findings can inform cost-effectiveness evaluations of interventions to treat or prevent spina bifida.
"After cardiac abnormalities, neural tube defects (NTDs) are the second most common group of serious birth defects. They are burdensome to patients, caregivers, healthcare systems and society.1,2 NTDs are the result of abnormalities in neurulation (closure of the neural folds and neuropores to form the neural tube), a process that is normally completed by 28 days post-conception and usually before a woman knows she is pregnant.3–5 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies in the 1990s have found that periconceptional dietary folate, supplementation of folic acid or supplemental multivitamins containing folic acid, help prevent neural tube defect (NTDs) if taken at the right time. This literature review assesses the extant folic acid public health campaigns literature and identifies some common variables used in folic acid consumption campaign evaluations.
This review was part of a larger study that searched PUBMED, PsycINFO and Embase from 1976 to 2010 to identify articles related to the psychosocial and economic impact of NTDs (especially spina bifida) on patients and caregivers.
Awareness of folic acid levels prior to conception improved post-campaign from 6 to 41%. Knowledge about consumption and correct periconceptional use of folic acid also improved. However, in most studies more than 50% of women did not take folic acid as prescribed. Many factors were associated with or without taking folic acid post-campaign, including incomplete outreach, prior awareness and knowledge, closeness to pregnancy, demographics and other personal characteristics.
Sustained campaigning to maintain awareness about and promote periconceptional consumption of folic acid in order to reduce the incidence of NTDs is clearly needed. Additional initiatives could complement existing public health strategies.
Journal of Public Health 07/2011; 34(1):90-9. DOI:10.1093/pubmed/fdr048 · 2.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spina bifida (SB) is the most common congenital cause of incontinence in childhood. This study attempts to determine the relationships between urinary/faecal incontinence, methods of management, and Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in people with SB.
A total of 460 patients (300 adults and 160 adolescents) from six centres in France have taken part in this cross-sectional study. Clinical outcome measures included walking ability, urinary/faecal continence, and medical management. HRQoL was assessed using the SF36 in adults and the VSP in adolescents and their parents. Univariate and multivariate analysis was used to determine the relationships between clinical parameters and HRQoL.
HRQoL were significantly lower than in the general population. Adult women had significantly lower scores than men, and adolescent females had significantly lower scores for psychological well being. We did not found strong relationship between incontinence and HRQoL in this population. Moreover patients surgically managed for urinary/fecal incontinence did not show significantly higher scores of HRQoL.
Using generic HRQoL measures, urinary/faecal incontinence and their medical management may not play a determinant role in HRQoL of persons with SB. However many other factors affect HRQoL in these patients. A longitudinal study design is recommended to assess whether incontinence management is associated with improved HRQoL.
Quality of Life Research 12/2006; 15(9):1481-92. DOI:10.1007/s11136-006-0032-x · 2.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate self-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children and adolescents with myelomeningocele (MMC) and to examine the impact of clinical impairments and limitations in activities of daily living (ADL). Fifty patients (28 females, 22 males) between 8 and 16 years of age (mean age 12y 1mo [SD 2y 4mo]) with MMC from three German paediatric centres and their mothers completed standardized measures on HRQOL (KINDL-R) and limitations in ADL (Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire). Lesion level was thoracic in nine, sacral in 25, and lumbosacral in 11 patients. Twenty-one patients were community walkers, 17 were able to walk in the home, and seven used a wheelchair. Two-thirds had health problems related to the central nervous system causing current difficulties (eight patients had a shunt, six had hydrocephalus, and 10 had a tethered cord). Patients in the study group reported diminished overall HRQOL compared with norm data, specifically in the dimensions of emotional well-being, self-esteem, and peer relations. Adolescents reported diminished HRQOL in the dimension of peer relations. Most medical parameters as well as limitations in ADL were not significantly associated with HRQOL. Our findings confirm the results of studies which dispute a linear inverse association between condition severity and HRQOL and emphasize the importance of peer relations in young patients with MMC.
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