Establishing Normative Values for Adolescent Quality of Life Studies in Plastic Surgery
Laura C. Nuzzi, BA, Joseph M. Firriolo, MD, Catherine T. McNamara, BS, Brian I. Labow, MD.
Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
BACKGROUND: Adolescence is a challenging time and an increasing number of young people are seeking plastic surgery. With the rise of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) studies in plastic surgery, it is critical to understand the natural variation and changes in HRQoL for this population.
METHODS: The following validated surveys were administered to male and female control subjects, aged 12-21 years: Short-Form 36v2 (SF-36), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), Breast-Related Symptoms Questionnaire (BRSQ; females only), and Eating-Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26). Subjects completed surveys at baseline and at 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 7 years follow-up.
RESULTS: A total of 211 female and 152 male subjects were included, with a mean follow-up time of 3.1 years. The mean age and follow-up time, and BMI category distribution did not vary by sex. From baseline to most recent follow-up, female subjects experience significant declines in 4 SF-36 domains (general health, vitality, role-emotional, and mental health) and on the RSES, BRSQ, and EAT-26. During the study period, however, male subjects’ HRQoL remained stable.
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescence is a challenging time, on which plastic surgery-related concerns are superimposed. In a sample of control subjects, girls’ HRQoL, self-esteem, and eating attitudes and behaviors significantly worsened as they progressed through adolescence. This is an important observation, and is critical for the interpretation and contextualization of HRQoL in adolescent plastic surgery patients.
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