Impact of Functional Constipation on Health-Related Quality of Life in Preschool Children and Their Families in Xi'an, China

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AIM: Functional constipation (FC) is one of the common diseases among children. The aim of this study was to investigate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in preschool children diagnosed with FC and the impact of the condition on affected families. METHODS: In this cross-sectional, case-control study, 152 children aged 3-6 years with FC, 176 healthy children aged 3-6 years without FC, and their primary caregivers were selected. Chinese versions of the PedsQL™ 4.0 Generic Core Scale and the Family Impact Module (FIM) were used to assess childhood HRQOL and the impact of FC on family members, respectively. HRQOL scores were compared between children with FC and healthy children. In addition, a multiple step-wise regression with demographic variables of children and their caregivers, family economic status, duration and symptoms of FC, as independent variables, was used to determine factors that influenced HRQOL in children and had impacted caregivers. RESULTS: Scores of physical, emotional, social and school functions, and summary scales were significantly lower in children with FC than in healthy children (p < 0.05). Physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and communication scores for caregivers, as well as daily activities and relationships for families of children with FC, were significantly lower than those of caregivers and families with healthy children (p < 0.05). Children's ages, duration of FC, symptoms of FC, the child-caregiver relationship, family economic status, and caregiver education level emerged as the main factors influencing HRQOL in children, caregivers, and family members. CONCLUSIONS: FC had a significant impact on HRQOL of affected children and their caregivers, as well as their family functions. Social characteristics of children and caregivers, duration and symptoms of FC and family economic status significantly affected HRQOL of children and caregivers, as well as family functions of children with FC.




Wang, C., Shang, L., Zhang, Y., Tian, J., Wang, B., Yang, X., … Xu, Y. (2013). Impact of Functional Constipation on Health-Related Quality of Life in Preschool Children and Their Families in Xi’an, China. PLoS ONE, 8(10).

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