Cross cultural differences in Health related quality of life in adolescents with cystic fibrosis

Abbott, Janice orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9851-1236, Bauman, Ulrich, Conway, Steve, Etherington, Christine, Gee, Louise, Graf von der Schulenburg, Johann-Matthias and Webb, Kevin (2001) Cross cultural differences in Health related quality of life in adolescents with cystic fibrosis. Disability & Rehabilitation, 23 (18). pp. 837-844. ISSN 09638288

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Purpose : Quality of Life (QoL) is an important outcome measure in health care and pharmacological trials. The trend towards multinational clinical trials may be problematic because it is unclear as to whether, or to what extent, QoL measures are comparable across cultures. This study compared QoL between English and German adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and their healthy peers. Method : The study comprised a cross-sectional design. The English subjects formed two groups; 58 adolescents with CF and 49 healthy controls. The German subjects consisted of 26 adolescents with CF and 75 healthy controls. Quality of life was measured using the English and German versions of the SF-36. Demographic (age and gender) and clinical data (FEV 1 % predicted and BMI) were also recorded.

Results : The English and German CF groups had similar age-adjusted lung function and body mass index. Both the English CF and control groups reported a poorer quality of life than their respective German counterparts across several domains of the SF-36. These were limitations in activities due to physical health problems and emotional difficulties, social functioning, energy and vitality and pain. Conclusions : The differences in quality of life between English and German adolescents with CF appear to be either culturally determined or due to idiosyncrasies in the translations of the SF-36, rather than a consequence of their disease or its management.

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