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Keywords:

  • anorectal malformation;
  • anxiety;
  • incontinence;
  • parents' organisations;
  • quality of life

Aim

The aim of this study was to investigate quality of life (QoL) and anxiety level in Turkish children with anorectal malformation as well as the anxiety level of their mothers and the support group effects on anxiety.

Methods

A total of 87 children and their parents were included. They were grouped according to children's age: <8 years (group 1), 8–12 years (group 2) and >12 years (group 3). The anxiety of all mothers and of children in group 3 was assessed by Spielberger's State–Trait Anxiety Index-2. The QoL of children in groups 2 and 3 was evaluated with the Ped-QL 4.0 test by self-report and proxy report. The QoL results in groups 2 and 3 were compared with age-matched controls.

Results

Mothers in groups 1 and 3 were more anxious than were those in group 2. Adolescents in group 3 had poorer QoL compared with controls by self- and proxy reports. A significant difference was observed in QoL between the children who did and those who did not soil. The anxiety level was significantly lower in parents who attended more than one meeting.

Conclusions

High anxiety and poor QoL levels in adolescence may have been related to the growing importance of body image. The higher anxiety levels of mothers in group 1 could be explained by an encounter with a baby who was different from the imagined baby and the newness of illness. QoL may have been perceived as being worse than what it was for psychological reasons.