Sleep disordered breathing in early childhood: quality of life for children and families
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To characterize health-related quality of life (QOL) in preschool children with sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and their families compared with nonsnoring control patients in the community. It was hypothesized that children with SDB and their families would have poorer QOL than control children, that a relationship would be found between SDB severity and QOL, and that even children with mild SDB and their families would have reduced QOL. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: A clinical sample of preschool children (3-5 y) with SDB diagnosed by gold standard polysomnography (primary snoring, PS = 56, mild obstructive sleep apnea, OSA = 35, moderate/severe OSA = 24) and control children recruited from the community (n = 38) were studied. Parents completed health-related QOL and parenting stress questionnaires. RESULTS: Children and families in the PS and mild OSA groups had consistently poorer QOL than control children (both P <0.05-0.001), based on parent ratings, and parents of children with PS had elevated stress ratings relative to control children (P <0.05-0.001). The moderate/severe OSA group differed from the control group on select measures of parent and family QOL (worry, P <0.001 and total family impact, P <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that sleep disordered breathing is associated with reduced quality of life in preschool children and their families. These results support previous quality of life findings in older children and in samples with broader age ranges. Furthermore, clinically referred preschool children with mild forms of sleep disordered breathing may be at greatest risk. CITATION: Jackman AR; Biggs SN; Walter LM; Embuldeniya US; Davey MJ; Nixon GM; Anderson V; Trinder J; Horne RSC. Sleep disordered breathing in early childhood: quality of life for children and families.