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Self-rated quality of life and school performance in relation to helminth infections : case study from Yunnan, People's Republic of China

Ziegelbauer, K. and Steinmann, P. and Zhou, H. and Du, Z. W. and Jiang, J. Y. and Fürst, T. and Jia, T. W. and Zhou, X. N. and Utzinger, J.. (2010) Self-rated quality of life and school performance in relation to helminth infections : case study from Yunnan, People's Republic of China. Parasites and Vectors, 3 (61).

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Abstract

Background: Expert opinion-derived disability weights are widely employed for estimating the global burden of diseases and injuries. For chronic diseases such as soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis, it has been suggested that a patient-based quality of life (QoL) approach should be considered for a more accurate appraisal of disability weights.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We carried out a cross-sectional survey and assessed the prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminth infections as well as self-rated QoL indicators among 252 students attending grades 5-8 in two schools (Bulangshan and Pu'er) in Yunnan province, People's Republic of China. Each student provided a single stool sample, which was subjected to duplicate Kato-Katz thick smear readings and a single FLOTAC examination for parasitological diagnosis. Prevalence rates for hookworm, Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides were high in Bulangshan (75.9%, 70.0% and 68.2%), while the respective prevalence rates in Pu'er were 66.9%, 56.5% and 9.2%. Students were interviewed with two standardised questionnaires, the EuroQoL-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) and ShortForm-12 (SF-12) Health Survey. Impairment in any of the five dimensions of the EQ-5D was reported by 87% of the students. However, no clear differences could be observed between individuals with and those without helminth infections, and there were discrepancies between the two schools. A multivariate logistic regression model revealed no differences between students with varying infection status in the domains of the SF-12 (odds ratio close to 1.0). Somewhat more pronounced, yet not statistically significant differences were observed when end-of-school-term marks were compared with students' helminth infection status: infected individuals had lower marks in Chinese, English and mathematics, but not in sports, compared to their helminth-free counterparts.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results point to unresolved issues and challenges regarding the cultural appropriateness of the widely used standard QoL questionnaires. Hence, new research is needed to further develop these instruments and to validate them in connection with chronic parasitic diseases
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Eco System Health Sciences > Health Impact Assessment (Utzinger)
UniBasel Contributors:Fürst, Thomas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1756-3305
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:09 Apr 2019 15:06
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 06:54

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