Background: Learning and behavioural problems are frequently reported in recent studies on long-term adverse outcome of childhood bacterial meningitis. Objective: To investigate school achievement, behaviour, and health-related quality of life of postmeningitic children in The Netherlands. Methods: 182 children (mean age 10 years; range 5-14) were selected from a cohort of 674 postmeningitic children on average 7 (range 4-10) years after meningitis. These children had neither meningitis with 'complex onset', nor prior cognitive or behavioural problems, nor severe disease sequelae. The children were evaluated with an 'Academic Achievement Test' and the parents filled in the Child Behaviour Checklist. Furthermore, parents completed two questionnaires on health-related quality of life (Child Health Questionnaire and Health Utility Index) and the children filled in the Perceived Competence Scale for Children. Results: The cumulative incidence of academic and/or behavioural problems was 32%. Parents' perception of health-related quality of life of the postmeningitic children, particularly in the dimensions of physical and psychosocial functioning, was decreased in comparison to that of a normal reference group. Decreased quality of life with respect to the psychosocial functioning was attributable to the sub-group of postmeningitic children with academic and/or behavioural problems. The self-perceptions of the postmeningitic children did not reveal significant problems. Conclusion: One-third of the postmeningitic children has long-term academic and/or behavioural problems. The health-related quality of life of postmeningitic children is decreased, particularly of those with academic and/or behavioural problems. It is important to bear in mind these risks when taking care of children who survived bacterial meningitis.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Kindergeneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2003|