Health-Related Quality of Life of Children with Vertigo: Retrospective Study at the German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders
Aims: The aim of this study is to assess the impact of vertigo in children on their health-related quality of life (HrQoL) and to ask the question if the impact on HrQoL varies by age group, gender, and type of vertigo diagnoses.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on data of children and adolescents referred to the German Center of Vertigo and Balance Disorders (DSGZ), which included the KIDSCREEN questionnaire (a generic, validated instrument to assess HrQoL in children). Test scores were transformed into Z-scores. For each scale means of the Z-scores with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and compared with the lower 95% confidence limit of the norm sample. Differences between vertigo types (vestibular migraine, somatoform vertigo, and other vertigo) were assessed using the nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis statistics. To assess the gender- and age-specific impact of vertigo on quality of life, medium values with 95% CIs were calculated using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Results: The means of 3 of 10 KIDSCREEN scales (“physical,” “psychological Well-being,” and “autonomy”), as well as the “General HRQoL Index” of the vertigo patients are considerably lower than the means of the norm sample (the 95% CIs of the means do not overlap with the 95% confidence limits of the norm sample means). “Physical well-being” seems to be most affected by vertigo: patients with vertigo report in mean a 1.62 standard deviations lower physical well being (95% CI = − 2.00; −1.24) than the norm sample. For the three vertigo type groups, no significant differences in all KIDSCREEN scales are observed.
Although no significant differences between the age groups are found, adolescents aged 12 to 18 years seem to suffer more from vertigo than children aged 8 to 11 years. In the physical well-being, a mean difference of approximately 0.8 and in the psychological well-being scale a mean difference of approximately 0.5 standard deviations are observed. For boys and girls in most scales, similar mean values are found.
Conclusion: These are the first data to demonstrate impaired HrQoL in children with severe vertigo.
Keywords: vertigo, children, HrQoL, quality of life.