Impact of Short Stature on Quality of Life: Where Is the Evidence?
Advances in the medical diagnosis of endocrine-based growth disorders and the advent of biosynthetic growth hormone have altered the practice of treating only those individuals with “classic” growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and increased the number of children who can be treated with growth hormone (GH). There may be no clear indications for GH treatment in the case of a child who is short but otherwise normal other than the presence of short stature (SS). Clear empirical evidence that children’s psychological adjustment is disrupted by short stature therefore has potential clinical relevance for decision making concerning GH treatment. For example, Cuttler and her colleagues’ survey found that endocrinologists reported that they considered the psychological impact of short stature on their patients when making decisions about whether or not to treat with growth hormone (1). Physicians reported that individuals who were judged to have significant psychological problems related to their height were more likely to be treated with growth hormone (1).
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