Accurate assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is important for quality patient care. Evaluation of HRQoL typically occurs with patient self-report, but some instruments, such as the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL), allow for proxy reporting. Limited information exists comparing patient and proxy reports of HRQoL after sport-related injury in adolescent athletes.
To compare patient ratings and parent-proxy ratings of HRQoL in adolescent athletes who suffer musculoskeletal injuries requiring orthopedic consultation. The authors hypothesized poor agreement between patient and parent-proxy ratings of HRQoL.
Thirteen adolescent patients with a sport-related musculoskeletal injury requiring orthopedic consultation and 1 of their parents participated.
During the initial visit to the physician’s office, each patient was asked to complete the PedsQL, and the patient’s parent was asked to complete the parent-proxy version of the PedsQL.
Main Outcome Measurements:
The PedsQL is a pediatric generic outcome measure that consists of a total score and 4 subscale scores: physical, emotional, social, and school functioning. Means and standard deviations were calculated for all scores, and comparisons between patient-self report and parent-proxy ratings of HRQoL were made for the PedsQL total score and subscale scores using Pearson product–moment correlations (r).
Pearson product–moment correlations showed little to fair insignificant relationships between patient self-report and parent-proxy report of the PedsQL for the total score (r = −.1) and all subscales (range r = .1 to .4).
Our results suggest a lack of agreement between patient and parent-proxy ratings of HRQoL, with patients rating their HRQoL lower than their parent. Patient perception of HRQoL may be more accurate than proxy report, which supports the use of patient-rated HRQoL in patient evaluation. Assessments of HRQoL made by proxies, even those close to the patient, may not represent patient health status.
Snyder, Swank, and Valovich McLeod are with the Athletic Training Program, and Lam, the Dept of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ. Hansen is with the CORE Institute, Gilbert, AZ.