Quality of life and health-related quality of life of adolescents with cerebral palsy


* Correspondence of first author at CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, IAHS, Room 408, 1400 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 1C7. E-mail: rosenbau@mcmaster.ca


This study assessed quality of life (QOL) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of 203 adolescents with cerebral palsy (111 males, 92 females; mean age 16y [SD 1y 9mo]). Participants were classified using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), as Level I (n=60), Level II (n=33), Level III (n=28), Level IV (n=50), or Level V (n=32). QOL was assessed by self (66.5%) or by proxy (33.5%) with the Quality of Life Instrument for People With Developmental Disabilities, which asks about the importance and satisfaction associated with the QOL domains of Being, Belonging, and Becoming; HRQOL was captured through proxy reports with the Health Utilities Index, Mark 3 (HUI3), which characterizes health in terms of eight attributes, each having five or six ordered levels of function. GMFCS level was not a source of variation for QOL domain scores but was significantly associated with the eight HRQOL attributes and overall HUI3 utility scores (p<0.05). Some QOL domain scores varied significantly by type of respondent (self vs proxy; p<0.05). Overall HUI3 utility values were significantly but weakly correlated with QOL Instrument scores for Being (r=0.37), Belonging (r=0.17), Becoming (r=0.20), and Overall QOL (r=0.28), and thus explain up to 14% of the variance (r2). These findings suggest that although QOL and HRQOL are somewhat related conceptually, they are different constructs and need to be considered as separate dimensions of the lives of people with functional limitations.

List of abbreviations:

Adolescent Study of Quality of life, Mobility and Exercise


Health-related quality of life


Health Utilities Index, Mark 3


Ontario Motor Growth


Quality of life