Traumatic stress, mental health and quality of life in adolescents with esophageal atresia

29 December 2020

A. Mikkelsen, B. Boye, T.H. Diseth et al., Traumatic stress, mental health and quality of life in adolescents with esophageal atresia, Journal of Pediatric Surgery,

© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

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Introduction: We aimed to investigate QoL in EA patients in relation to comparison groups and to clinical factors including experienced traumatic stress.

Material and Methods: Adolescents with EA in Norway born between 1996 and 2002 were included. Clinical assessment and patient’s characteristics were collected. Quality of life (PedsQL), traumatic stress (IES-13) and mental health (SDQ-20) were compared to groups of healthy controls, children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and kidney transplanted children (TX).

Results: 68 EA adolescents participated. Total scores for PedsQL were not different from the healthy group and ALL patients, but significantly better than the TX patients. The subscale for physical performance was significantly lower than in healthy adolescents, and nine (17%) patients had scores ≤70 indicating reduced health status. Five EA adolescents (12%) had mental health scores suggesting a psychiatric disorder, and six (9%) reported high traumatic stress scores with a significant correlation to days on ventilator in the neonatal period. The strongest predictors for quality of life among EA adolescents were self-reported mental health, posttraumatic stress and GERD symptoms.

Conclusion: Scores for Quality of life in the EA group are good except for subscale for physical performance. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress, mental strain and gastroesophageal reflux are predictors of reduced QoL.

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