Multicentre trials are evaluating growth hormone treatment in short children (height > 2 SDs below mean) with chronic renal failure (CRF), on dialysis, or with a transplant. Thirty children and parents from four centres were interviewed to assess psychological functioning and evaluate their concerns about growth in the context of CRF. There were 24 males and six females, age range 2-18 years. Fifty per cent of patients had additional non-renal complications and 30% had learning difficulties. Differences between the respective concerns of parents and children were striking. Parents' predominant concern was their child's future health (50%) and prospects (37%) while children's main concern was the impact of illness on their family (50%). Growth was a major concern for 30% of parents and 28% of children. Growth problems are important and should be considered within the context of other illness issues. Improved understanding of parental and child concerns may help maximise the benefits of growth hormone and assist in the management of children with CRF.
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