BACKGROUND: In children after haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS), little is known about long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological adjustment as defined by behavioural problems, depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
METHODS: Sixty-two paediatric patients with a history of HUS were included in this study. Medical data of the acute HUS episode were retrieved retrospectively from hospital records. Data on the clinical course at study investigation were assessed by clinical examination and laboratory evaluation. HRQoL and psychological adjustment data were measured by standardised, parent- and self-reported questionnaires.
RESULTS: Haemolytic-uraemic syndrome was diagnosed at a mean of 6.5 years before the initiation of the study (standard deviation 2.9, range 0.1-15.7) years. Among the preschool children, parents reported that their child was less lively and energetic (HRQoL emotional dimension), while no increased behavioural problems were reported. In the school-age children, self- and proxy-reported HRQoL was well within or even above the norms, while increased total behavioural problems were found. The school-age children reported no increased depression scores. Also none of the children met the criteria for full or partial HUS-associated posttraumatic stress disorder.
CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare providers should be particularly alert to behavioural problems in school-age children with a history of HUS and to lower HRQoL in preschool children.