ESPE Abstracts (2018) 89 P-P2-222

Height Perception of Children with GH Deficiency: Influencing Factors and Links to Psychosocial Functioning

Chrysoula Drosatoua,b, Elpis-Athina Vlachopapadopouloua, Monika Bullingerc, Julia Quitmannc, Neuza Silvac,d, Stefanos Michalacosa & Konstantinos Tsoumakase


aDepartment of Endocrinology Growth and Development, Children’s Hospital ‘P. & A. Kyriakou’, Athens, Greece; bNational and Kapodistrian University, Athens, Greece; cDepartment of Medical Psychology, University of Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; dCenter for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioural Intervention (CINEICC), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; eNational and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece


Objectives: The aims of this study were: (1) to evaluate the perception of children with GH Deficiency (GHD) and their parents, regarding their current and future predicted height, as well as the modulating factors; (2) to investigate the relation between perceptions of height and psychosocial functioning in children with GHD.

Methods: The study group consists of 322 children/adolescents (219 boys) diagnosed with (isolated) GHD, treated with GH. The mean age of patients was 13.1 years (S.D.=2.5 years) and the mean duration of treatment was 3.4 years (S.D.=2.6 years). Patients, as well as one of their parents, were asked to complete the Greek version of the Quality of Life in Short Stature Youth (QoLISSY) questionnaire and the Silhouette Apperception Technique (SAT) questionnaire, as a routine component of their medical visit. Associations between SAT and demographics were evaluated using chi-square test of independence. Whereas, the relation between SAT and QoLISSY questionnaire was evaluated using Mann-Whitney test.

Results: The majority of children/adolescents (71.6%) and their parents (82.5%) overestimated patient’s current height. Similar results emerged for the future predicted height with children and parents overestimating it (91.5% and 64.6% respectively). Younger children (P=0.036) and those whose father had a high educational level (P=0.021) perceived their present height with more accuracy. The same pattern was observed for parent perceptions. Parents of older patients (P=0.01) and those having a low educational level (P=0.032) overestimated youths’ current height to a greater degree. When predictions for adult height were examined, younger age of patients (P=0.037), medium socioeconomic status of the family (P=0.042) and parents’ short stature (0.012) were positively related with overprediction. Parents overestimating children’s current height, reported higher levels of Physical QoL (P=0.016), Social QoL (P=0.001) and Total QoL (P=0.005) for their children. They also had a more positive perception for their children’s experience linked to GH treatment (P=0.039) and referred that their children worry less about their future related to their short stature (P=0.024). Accurate predictions for adult height, on behalf of the parents, were related with higher scores for children’s general beliefs about stature (P=0.049).

Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that the majority of GH treated patients and their parents overestimate the child’s current and predicted height. The relation between overestimation of height and better HrQoL poses the question whether increased perceived height leads to better psychosocial adaptation or if it simply consists a defense mechanism.

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