Background: This study examined the relationship between functional level and quality of life in children with spina bifida (SB).
Methods: The study includes 44 children with SB (20 females and 24 males) of average age 9.18 ± 2.39 years. A independence measurement (WeeFIM) developed for children was used to evaluate functional level, and the Health Questionnaire Parent Form (CHQ-PF50) was used to evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of children whose demographic information, affection levels and the use of assistive devices.
Results: Regional involvement among children in the study was 2.3% thoracic, 27.3% thoracolumbar, 38.6% lumbar, 27.3% lumbosacral, and 4.5% sacral. While 56.8% use an assistive device in daily activities, 43.2% do not use any device. Statistical analysis, showed a positive relationship between WeeFIM and role/social limitation parameter of the CHQ (r=0.316, p=0.037). No relationship was found between WeeFIM and global behaviour, parental impacttime, general behavior, bodily pain/discomfort, mental health, family activities, self-esteem, family cohesion, parental impact-emotional parameters (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Physical disorder among children with SB can cause role restriction in everyday activities, and thus can affect quality of life. The rehabilitation practices to be made for having children to gain maximum independence will improve quality of life.