Medical College of Wisconsin
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Youth Victims of Violence Report Worse Quality of Life Than Youth With Chronic Diseases. Pediatr Emerg Care 2020 Feb;36(2):e72-e78



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OBJECTIVES: Measuring health-related quality of life (HRQOL) provides the patient's perspective of his/her well-being and offers a unique outcome measure to demonstrate the impact of violence on the victim. To date, no study has described HRQOL in youth victims of violence in the United States. The purpose of this study was to describe HRQOL in youth victims of violence as compared with healthy youth and youth with chronic disease.

METHODS: We conducted an exploratory cross-sectional study of the HRQOL of victims of violence aged 8 to 18 years. Descriptive statistics were reported for participant and injury demographics. One sample t tests were used to compare the sample population's HRQOL to known HRQOL of healthy populations and specific disease populations.

RESULTS: Fifty-eight victims of violence participated in the study. Youth victims of violence had significantly worse mean HRQOL scores (mean, 71.4) compared with healthy youth in overall functioning (mean, 83.9), P < 0.001. Youth victims of violence reported worse psychosocial (mean, 67.6), emotional (mean, 62.9), and school (mean, 63.8) functioning than youth with obesity (mean, 72.1, 68.6, 75.0, respectively) and cancer (mean, 72.1, 72.2, 68.3, respectively). Mean Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System T scores for youth victims of violence were significantly worse in anxiety (T = 51.9) and depression (T = 52.4) compared with youth with obesity (T = 48.3, 49.2), cancer (T = 47.7, 47.6), and sickle cell disease (T = 43, 44).

CONCLUSIONS: Youth victims of violence suffer significant impairment in HRQOL compared with healthy populations and youth with specific disease burdens. Future studies into violence prevention effectiveness should use HRQOL as a comparative outcome measure to better tailor post injury management and interventions.

Author List

Levas MN, Melzer-Lange M, Tarima S, Beverung LM, Panepinto J


Michael Levas MD Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Marlene D. Melzer-Lange MD Adjunct Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Sergey S. Tarima PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anemia, Sickle Cell
Chronic Disease
Cross-Sectional Studies
Health Status
Patient Reported Outcome Measures
Quality of Life
United States
jenkins-FCD Prod-486 e3098984f26de787f5ecab75090d0a28e7f4f7c0