Evaluating Health-Related Quality of Life and School Attendance in a Multidisciplinary School Program for Youth with Significant Medical Needs

  • Alison M. ColbertEmail author
  • Emily Edlynn
  • Victoria Mueller
  • Merlin Ariefdjohan
  • Jennifer Lindwall


Many youth with significant medical needs have difficulty attending traditional schools due to academic, physical, and psychosocial challenges. To meet the needs of these youth and prepare them for a successful transition to a traditional school, a multidisciplinary school program (MSP) provides support in these three domains. The aims of this program evaluation are to describe the operation of the novel MSP, characterize participants, and determine the impact of participation as related to school attendance and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Attendance in the MSP was significantly higher than school attendance estimates provided by caregivers prior to participation in the program. Youth reported significant improvement in physical functioning and total HRQoL. Caregivers reported significant improvement in academic functioning and total HRQoL of youth. The MSP represents a unique educational model for youth with significant medical issues that also provides physical and psychosocial support. Initial findings highlight the potential positive impact of this model for this population of youth.


Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) Pediatric School reintegration Health outcomes Program evaluation 



There are no funding sources.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Alison M. Colbert, Emily Edlynn, Victoria Mueller, Merlin Ariefdjohan, and Jennifer Lindwall declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison M. Colbert
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Emily Edlynn
    • 3
  • Victoria Mueller
    • 4
  • Merlin Ariefdjohan
    • 5
    • 6
  • Jennifer Lindwall
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of RehabilitationChildren’s Hospital ColoradoAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Oak Park Behavioral MedicineOak ParkUSA
  4. 4.C2 ChangeAustinUSA
  5. 5.Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  6. 6.Pediatric Mental Health InstituteChildren’s Hospital ColoradoAuroraUSA

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