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Health-related quality of life of children with low language from early childhood to adolescence: results from an Australian longitudinal population-based study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Cristina McKeanORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2021.

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BackgroundLow language abilities are known to be associated with significant adverse long-term outcomes.However, associations between low language and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) areunclear. We aimed to (1) examine the association between low language and HRQoL from 4-13years, and (2) classify the children’s trajectories of HRQoL and language and examine theassociation between language and HRQoL trajectories.MethodsData were from an Australian community-based cohort of children. HRQoL was measured at ages4-13 years using the parent-reported Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0. Language wasassessed using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF)-Preschool 2nd editionat 4 years and the CELF-4th edition at 5, 7 and 11 years. Multivariable linear regression and mixedeffect modelling were used to estimate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between lowlanguage and HRQoL from 4-13 years. A joint group-based trajectory model was used tocharacterize associations between HRQoL and language trajectories over childhood.ResultsChildren with low language had substantially lower HRQoL than children with typical languagefrom 4-13 years. Higher language scores were associated with better HRQoL, particularly in socialand school functioning. Three HRQoL trajectories were identified: stable-high (51% of children),reduced with slow decline (40%) and low with rapid decline (9%). Children with low languagewere less likely to follow a stable-high HRQoL trajectory (40%) while 26% and 34% followedthe reduced with slow decline and low with rapid decline trajectories respectivelyConclusionsChildren with low language experienced reduced HRQoL from 4-13 years. More than half haddeclining trajectories in HRQoL highlighting the need to monitor these children over time.Interventions should not only aim to improve children’s language ability but also address the widerfunctional impacts of low language.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Le HND, Mensah F, Eadie P, McKean C, Sciberras E, Bavin EL, Reilly S, Gold L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Year: 2021

Volume: 62

Issue: 3

Pages: 349-356

Print publication date: 01/03/2021

Online publication date: 02/06/2020

Acceptance date: 07/05/2020

Date deposited: 05/11/2020

ISSN (print): 0021-9630

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7610

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.13277


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