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Quality of life

For a very long time one of the key metrics of the successful treatment of children’s conditions has been school attendance. It has the advantage of being easily and objectively measured, and serves as a proxy for participation in social activities. But in the last 20 years, paediatricians have come to recognise that we need something more nuanced that can tell us about the lived experience of children with health conditions, regardless of the extent to which they make it to school. Measures of quality of life appear to be the best tools for this: quality of life is a multi-dimensional subjective experience that relates to the extent to which children are able to do what they want to do, and to their overall happiness. But not all of us fully understand these measures, nor are we all aware that such measurements can be of immense and immediate clinical value in the consultation. Haverman et al in their leading article help us to understand what we …

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