Predicting parent health-related quality of life: evaluating conceptual models


Purpose: Parents of children with chronic illnesses are at risk for poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL), with numerous identified risk factors, but the most informative statistical model considering their combined impact is unclear. The authors conceptualized risk for poor HRQoL using a summed model, comprehensive multivariate model, and latent profile analysis (LPA). Methods: Community parents completed an online survey, providing information about demographics, child’s chronic illness, family functioning, and parent and child HRQoL. Parents reported that their children had a variety of chronic conditions (e.g., asthma, headaches, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, neurofibromatosis). Results: The summed model did not account for a significant proportion of variance in parent HRQoL. The comprehensive multivariate model (R2 = 0.614) and LPA (R2 = 0.305) both significantly predicted parent HRQoL. The LPA identified two risk profiles for lower HRQoL: parents who reported milder illnesses, but poorer family functioning; and parents who reported greater disease severity, but better family functioning. Conclusions: Comprehensive multivariate models or LPAs best conceptualize patterns of risk for poor parental HRQoL in the community; though the findings in the current community sample may not extend to parents recruited from specialty clinics whose children may have more severe chronic illnesses. Parents of children with mild chronic conditions are still at risk for poor HRQoL, warranting attention from health care providers.

Publication Title

Quality of Life Research