Open Access Research

Health-related quality of life of children and adolescents with mental disorders

Katharina Weitkamp1*, Judith K Daniels2, Georg Romer3 and Silke Wiegand-Grefe1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

2 Department of Psychiatry, Universitätsmedizin Charité, Berlin, Germany

3 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2013, 11:129  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-129

Published: 31 July 2013



The aim was to assess the association of internalising and externalising pathology with the child’s health-related quality of life (QoL), and to determine which child and environmental characteristics beyond pathology were related to poor QoL.


Data was obtained for 120 children and adolescents (aged 6 to 18) commencing outpatient psychotherapy treatment. Parents and children (aged 11 years and older) filled out questionnaires. QoL was measured with the KIDSCREEN-27.


QoL was more strongly associated with internalising than externalising pathology according to both self- and parent report. Multiple regression analyses showed that beyond internalising and externalising pathology, gender, age, family functioning, functional impairment, and prior mental health treatment were associated with individual QoL scales.


The data underscored the relationship between mental pathology and impaired QoL even if potential item overlap was controlled for. This stresses the importance of extending therapy goals and outcome measures from mere pathology to measures of QoL in psychotherapy research particularly for patients with internalising pathology.

Quality of life; Internalising disorders; Externalising disorders; Child; Adolescent