The impact of influenza-like illness in young children on their parents: a quality of life survey
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Influenza-like illness can cause excess paediatric morbidity and burden on parents.
We determined the quality of life (QoL) impact of children’s influenza-like illness (ILI) on their parents.
We conducted a prospective cohort study in childcare centres and a general practice in Sydney, Australia. Using PAR-ENT-QoL, we measured QoL of parents of children aged 6 months–3 years before the 2010 influenza season, then again for parents of children with ILI (ILI group) using SF-12v2 Acute Form and PAR-ENT-QoL, and contemporaneously for parents of aged-matched children without ILI (non-ILI group).
Of 381 children enrolled from 90 childcare centres, 105 developed ILI. PAR-ENT-QoL scores of the ILI group were significantly lower in the post-ILI follow-up interviews than at baseline (60.99 vs. 79.77, p < 0.001), and those of non-ILI group at follow-up interviews (60.99 vs. 84.05, p < 0.001). SF-12v2 scores of the ILI group were also significantly lower than those of non-ILI group: physical component summary (50.66 vs. 53.16, p = 0.011) and mental component summary (45.67 vs. 53.66, p < 0.001). Two factors were significantly associated with parental QoL: total time spent caring child during ILI and whether the child had severe ILI or not. Correlations between PAR-ENT-QoL and SF-12v2 scores were satisfactory.
Parents had significantly lower QoL while their child had ILI, compared with before ILI and with parents of children without ILI. The public health impact of ILI in children on the QoL in families is far from negligible. QoL measurement can complement economic evaluation of ILI disease burden and provide a more complete picture of impact.
KeywordsParent Children Influenza-like illness Quality of life Survey
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