Background: Childrens and parents expectations regarding GH therapy results have been previously assessed. However, there are limited data on childrens and adolescents perceptions of their own body size as compared with that of their age-related peers, as well as their expectations of their final stature.
Objective and hypotheses: To evaluate the perceptions of GH treated children and their families for the childs stature and to assess the expectations and the degree of their satisfaction from it.
Method: It is a prospective study using validated questionnaires (SAT). The patient cohort included 66 children (43 boys) with mean-age 13.2 years (S.D.=2.5 years) and it was conducted in the Endocrinology Department of one of the two main Pediatric Hospitals in Athens. For the comparisons of proportions χ2 tests were used.
Results: Results from the current study suggest that the majority of children have an inaccurate picture of their actual height as well as their predicted height, overestimating it in 80.3 and 89.4% respectively. Parents perceptions of their childs height was somehow more realistic, with 65% holding an overestimated picture. Only 20.7% of parents were found to have realistic expectations for the growth promoting effects of GH treatment. There was a high level of agreement between parents and childrens perceptions (70.7%) and expectations (81%) for the childs present and future height. Moreover, a high percentage 86.3% of the children were convinced on the benefits of the treatment and 82.8% of them would continue it if they had the choice.
Conclusion: The majority of children treated with GH and their families have overestimated both the childs present and predicted height. The high degree of agreement between them is probably due to failure of effective communication between the physician and the family or reflects misinterpretation of the given information within the family.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology