Cognitive Functions and Health Related Quality of Life of Institutional Autism Spectrum Disorder Children in Dhaka city
Keywords:Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL), Cognitive Functioning, Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) scale.
In Bangladesh, nearly 10.5 hundred thousand individuals may have autism. Recent figures released by the CDC (2012) show that autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) now affect 1 in 88 children. Cognitive impairment, limited adaptive skills, and severe social impairment as seen in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) thought to be associated with poorer health related quality of life (HRQoL). The objective of the study was to measure HRQoL and cognitive functioning in a group of autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children and to relate HRQoL with their socio demographic characteristics and cognitive functioning from parents perception.
This cross sectional study was conducted among149 purposively selected parents who have institutionalized autistic children (2 to 18 years old) from January to June 2013. HRQoL was assessed by Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (Verni1998) and cognitive functioning was assessed with The PedsQL TM Cognitive Functioning Scale.
Three fourth of the children were male (n=115, 77.2%) and the mean (SD) age of the children was 7.8(3.06) years. Symptoms of autism appeared at about their 2nd birthday 2.1 (.70) while the average (SD) age of diagnosis was around three years 2.9 (.98). The children were reported to go to school at an early age of 3(1.75) years. Out of 149 respondents, ten percent parents (n=14) had the history of consanguineous marriage.
The sample data provides significant difference between the scores by the ability of verbal communication (p<.05), presence of autistic siblings (p<.05) and mothers occupation (p<.05). There found negative correlation between HRQoL and age of symptom appearance and cognitive functioning with age of diagnosis (r = - 0.18; p=.03). Cognitive functioning was strongly correlated with total PedsQL score and its domains (r = 0.73; p=.00). i.e. Higher cognitive function leads to good health related quality of life. Linear regression was performed to study the relationship between HRQoL and independent variables found significant in univariate analysis. The results of the regression indicated the predictors in the model explained 57 % of the variance (R2=.57, F=23.05, p<.001). It was found that fathers who were doctors and engineers by profession (t=2.34, p= .02), childs ability to communicate with words (t= 2.73, p= .007), age of symptom appearance (t= -2.71, p=.008), and cognitive functioning (t =12.28, p <0.001) significantly predicted HRQol of ASD children.
Fathers occupational status, childs ability to communicate by word, age of symptom appearance, and Cognitive functioning of ASD children were found related to their quality of life.
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