Health related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important subjectively evaluated outcome of adolescents physical, mental, and social functioning. It gives us the possibility to assess the disease impact on life of adolescents, and to sort out target groups of adolescents for future psychological interventions. The objective of this cross-sectional survey was to study HRQoL in 173 adolescents with chronic physical illness (CPI - diabetes, asthma, and epilepsy), and to find HRQoL predictors in each disease group.
Disease-specific questionnaires were completed by each adolescent recruited from the local outpatient clinic; mothers answered the questions on socioeconomic status (SES); and the patients' clinicians evaluated the severity of the disease.
A high proportion of adolescents in each disease specific sample reported moderate to high levels of HRQoL. Gender was the most prominent predictor of HRQoL in all three studied groups, while disease severity predicted HRQoL in the diabetic group and to some extent in the asthma group.
Our results provide evidence that adolescents with diabetes, asthma, and epilepsy in northern Russia maintain relatively moderate to high levels of HRQoL. The domains affecting HRQoL were related to both disease-specific (severity) and non-disease factors (gender and SES). Our study suggests that future psychosocial interventions should focus on aspects of CPI impacting adolescents in gendered ways, furthermore taking into account disease specific factors.