The objectives of this study were to describe health-related quality of life of postmeningitic children and to examine the association between academic and/or behavioral limitations and health-related quality of life. One hundred and eighty-two children (mean age 9.7 years; range 5.3-14.2) were selected randomly from a cohort of 674 school-age children who recovered from non-Haemophilus influenzae type B bacterial meningitis. These children had neither meningitis with 'complex onset', nor prior cognitive or behavioral problems, nor severe disease sequelae. On average 7.4 years after meningitis, they were evaluated using an 'Academic Achievement Test' and their parents filled in the Child Behavior Checklist, the Child Health Questionnaire, and the Health Utilities Index. The long-term incidence of academic and/or behavioral limitations was 32%. Overall health-related quality of life of the postmeningitic children was decreased in comparison with that of a reference population of schoolchildren. The group of postmeningitic children with academic and/or behavioral limitations showed the most marked decrease in quality of life, especially concerning psychosocial health, cognition and family life. The negative effects on quality of life were not significantly influenced by age, gender, causative pathogen, presence of minor neurological impairment, or presence of hearing impairment. In conclusion, health-related quality of life of postmeningitic children is decreased, particularly of those with academic and/or behavioral limitations.
- Academic achievement
- Bacterial meningitis
- Health-related quality of life