Social-emotional functioning in pediatric hydrocephalus: comparison of the Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire to the Behavior Assessment System for Children

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  • 1 Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo;
  • | 2 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City;
  • | 3 Department of Pediatric Behavioral Health, Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City;
  • | 4 Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; and
  • | 5 Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
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OBJECTIVE

Hydrocephalus can impact all areas of health, including physical, cognitive, and social-emotional functioning. The social-emotional health of children who have had surgery for hydrocephalus is not well characterized. In this study, the authors sought to examine social-emotional functioning using the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Third Edition (BASC-3) and the Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire (HOQ) in 66 children aged 5 to 17 years.

METHODS

Caregivers of pediatric patients with hydrocephalus completed the BASC-3 and the HOQ. BASC-3 internalizing, externalizing, and executive functioning caregiver-reported scores were compared with the BASC-3 normative sample using one-sample t-tests to evaluate overall social-emotional functioning. BASC-3 scores were correlated with the social-emotional domain of the HOQ using Pearson’s r to determine if the HOQ accurately captured the social-emotional functioning of children with hydrocephalus in a neurosurgery setting. BASC-3 and HOQ scores of children with different etiologies of hydrocephalus were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance to determine if differences existed between the following etiologies: intraventricular hemorrhage secondary to prematurity, myelomeningocele, communicating congenital hydrocephalus, aqueductal stenosis, or other.

RESULTS

Children with hydrocephalus of all etiologies had more difficulties with social-emotional functioning compared with normative populations. Children with different hydrocephalus etiologies differed in executive functioning and overall HOQ scores but not in internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, or social-emotional HOQ scores. The social-emotional domain of the HOQ correlated more strongly with the BASC-3 than did the physical and cognitive domains.

CONCLUSIONS

These results have provided evidence that children who have had surgery for hydrocephalus may be at increased risk of social-emotional and behavioral difficulties, but etiology may not be particularly helpful in predicting what kinds or degree of difficulty. The results of this study also support the convergent and divergent validity of the social-emotional domain of the HOQ.

ABBREVIATIONS

BASC-3 = Behavior Assessment System for Children, Third Edition ; HOQ = Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire; HRQL = health-related quality of life; PRS = parent rating scale.

Illustration from Soleman et al. (pp 544–552). Copyright Lucille Solomon.

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