Author(s): KampBecker I, Schrder J, Remschmidt H, Bachmann CJ
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Abstract AIM: Over the last years, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has emerged as an important measure not only in somatic medicine but also in psychiatry. To date, there are only few reports on HRQOL in patients with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD). This study aimed at studying HRQOL in ASD patients with an IQ >70, using a self-report HRQOL questionnaire with cross-cultural validity. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, twenty-six male adolescents and young adults with the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, high functioning autism and atypical autism were evaluated, using the German version of the WHOQOL-BREF HRQOL questionnaire. RESULTS: Mean WHOQOL-BREF global scores were 60.6 (SD ±26.1), mean WHOQOL-BREF subscale scores were 70.1 (SD ±19.1) for the domain "physical health", 61.5 (SD ±21.9) for the domain "psychological health", 53.8 (SD ±23.5) for the domain "social relationships" and 67.9 (SD ±17.4) for the domain "environment". Compared to a reference population of healthy controls, our sample scored significantly lower in three of four WHOQOL-BREF domains. In comparison to a reference sample of individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD), HRQOL of our sample was significantly better in all domains except for the "social relations" domain. There was a significant association between HRQOL and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales domain "daily living skills", but not with age, IQ, or ADOS-G summary scores. CONCLUSION: Overall self-reported HRQOL in patients with high functioning ASD seems to be lower than in healthy individuals, but better than in patients with SSD. Also, higher HRQOL was associated with better daily living skills. This interrelationship should especially be accounted for in the design and application of treatment programmes for individuals with ASD, as it is of importance for the level of self-perceived HRQOL.
This article was published in Psychosoc Med
and referenced in Autism-Open Access