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Children with spina bifida in Eastern Uganda report a reasonable quality of life relative to their healthy school-attending peers
  1. Helen J Sims-Williams1,
  2. Hugh P Sims-Williams2,
  3. Edith Mbabazi Kabachelor3,
  4. Joshua Magombe3,
  5. Benjamin C Warf4,5
  1. 1Sheffield Kidney Institute, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda, Mbale, Uganda
  4. 4Department of Neurosurgery, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen J Sims-Williams, Sheffield Kidney Institute, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK; helen.nye{at}cantab.net

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We recently found that male sex, large family size, urinary incontinence and hydrocephalus were all associated with poorer self-reported quality of life (QOL) among 62 children aged 10–14 with spina bifida from Eastern Uganda.1 A limitation of this study was the absence of corresponding QOL scores for unaffected Ugandan children. We therefore conducted a survey to establish reference values for self-reported QOL among healthy Ugandan schoolchildren aged 10–14.

A total of 141 healthy schoolchildren from 12 schools in Mbale district participated in a short interview to ascertain ‘health related quality of life’ using the objective Health Utilities Index (HUI3) tool,2 and a subjective measure of QOL using a visual analogue scale (VAS).3 Children were asked a single question, ‘how happy is your life?’ The interviewer indicated the 0 end of the scale (with a sad face pictured) representing ‘very bad’ and the 10 end of the scale (with a smiling face) representing ‘very good’; the child was asked to …

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