Quality of Life and Functional Outcome in Pediatric Patients Requiring Surgery: Italian Perspectives

  • M. Castagnetti
Reference work entry


Health related  quality of life (HRQoL) is a multidimensional concept that describes the impact of a condition and the related morbidity on a person’s feeling of leading a fulfilling life. Many studies in pediatric surgery and urology have so far failed to establish HRQoL and only focused on mortality and morbidity rates. By reviewing studies about HRQoL in three pediatric surgical or urological conditions, we discuss some of the most relevant points concerning the evaluation of HRQoL and its relationship with functional outcomes. The studies reviewed show that HRQoL does not necessarily parallel  functional results. Studies in survivors of esophageal atresia, for instance, show that an acceptable HRQoL can be achieved even despite significant morbidity. Studies in subjects born with  spina bifida, instead, show that, although surgery can achieve dramatic improvements in functional outcome in terms of urinary continence, this is not paralleled by any improvement in the HRQoL of these patients. HRQoL seems instead to improve in the caregivers. The studies reviewed also suggest that HRQoL is largely unrelated to the severity of the condition or the presence of associated anomalies. Consistently, improvement of survival of more severe neonatal conditions does not seem to be associated with a reduction in HRQoL.

In conclusion, comprehending issues that influence HRQoL allows us to offer clear expectations of outcomes after surgery to patients, families, health care professionals and policy makers in a truly patient-oriented, evidence-based manner.


Spina Bifida Esophageal Atresia Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Colon Interposition Urologic Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


gastrointestinal quality of life index


health related quality of life


illness cognition questionnaire


pediatric quality of life inventory 4.0


quality of life


respiratory symptoms–related quality of life index


short form – 36


short form – 12™ health survey


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  • M. Castagnetti

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