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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. 1 Sheffield Kidney Institute, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3 CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda, Mbale, Uganda
  4. 4 Department of Neurosurgery, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5 Harvard 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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