Children with acute recurring pancreatitis (ARP) and chronic pancreatitis have abdominal discomfort, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations (CP). However, data on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in this group is scarce. We wanted to assess HRQOL in children with ARP or CP and look for biopsychosocial risk factors for poor HRQOL. The International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In search of a cure registry provided the data. At enrolment, baseline demographic and clinical questionnaires, the Child Health Questionnaire (which measures HRQOL), and the Child Behavior Checklist (which assesses emotional and behavioral functioning) were performed.
The sample consisted of 368 children (54.3% females, mean age=12.7 years, SD=3.3); 65.2% had ARP and 34.8% had CP. Physical HRQOL was low (M=38.5, SD=16.0), although psychosocial HRQOL (M=49.5, SD=10.2) was within the normal range. After controlling for ARP/CP status, age, sex, exocrine and endocrine disease (F [9, 271] = 8.34, P<0.001), and episodic and constant abdominal pain (B = 04.66, P=0.03; B= –13.25, P<0.001), multivariate regression analysis revealed that clinical levels of emotional and behavioral problems (B= –10.28, P<0.001), episodic and constant abdominal pain (B=04.66 Borderline and clinical levels of emotional and behavioral disorders (B= –10.18, P<0.001; B= –15.98, P<0.001), as well as persistent pain (B= –4.46, P<0.001), were linked to poor psychosocial HRQOL (F [9, 271] = 17.18, P<0.001). The findings emphasized the significance of monitoring HRQOL and addressing pain and psychological difficulties in this vulnerable population of children.