Health-Related Quality of Life in children with autism spectrum disorders: results from the autism treatment network.
We examined data collected as a part of the Autism Treatment Network, a group of 15 autism centers across the United States and Canada. Mean Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) scores of the 286 children assessed were significantly lower than those of healthy populations (according to published norms). When compared to normative data from children with chronic conditions, children with ASD demonstrated worse HRQoL for total, psychosocial, emotional and social functioning, but did not demonstrate differing scores for physical and school functioning. HRQoL was not consistently related to ASD diagnosis or intellectual ability. However, it was consistently related to internalizing and externalizing problems as well as repetitive behaviors, social responsiveness, and adaptive behaviors. Associations among HRQoL and behavioral characteristics suggest that treatments aimed at improvements in these behaviors may improve HRQoL.