European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 364–370

Psychopathology in children: Improvement of quality of life without psychiatric symptom reduction?

  • Dennis Bastiaansen
  • Hans M. Koot
  • Robert F. Ferdinand

DOI: 10.1007/s00787-005-0481-8

Cite this article as:
Bastiaansen, D., Koot, H.M. & Ferdinand, R.F. Europ.Child & Adolescent Psych (2005) 14: 364. doi:10.1007/s00787-005-0481-8



The aim of this study was to assess the association between change in psychopathology and Quality of Life (QoL) across time in children with high levels of psychopathology.


A referred sample of 126 seven- to 19-year-olds was studied across a 1-year follow-up period. Information concerning QoL and psychopathology was obtained from parents.


Overall, 38.1% of children showed neither psychiatric symptom reduction nor QoL improvement, 33.3% of children showed both a clinically significant psychiatric symptom reduction and QoL improvement, and 28.6% of children showed either psychiatric symptom reduction or QoL improvement. In 11.1% of all children,QoL improved, while the level of psychopathology remained high. Age, gender, or psychiatric diagnosis did not predict a poor outcome of persistently high psychopathology scores and poor QoL.


QoL in children with psychiatric problems may be improved by reducing psychiatric symptoms in a number of children, but it is also possible to improve QoL without psychiatric symptom reduction. This implicates that QoL should become an important aim and treatment outcome measure of psychiatric treatment programs, especially since psychopathology tends to persist.

Key words

Quality of Life child psychiatric disorder follow-up 

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Bastiaansen
    • 1
  • Hans M. Koot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert F. Ferdinand
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus-MC—University Medical Center Rotterdam, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryCB RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Developmental PsychologyBT AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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