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Low health-related quality of life in school-aged children in Tonga, a lower-middle income country in the South Pacific

Petersen, Solveig, Swinburn, Boyd, Mavoa, Helen, Fotu, Kalesita, Tupoulahi-Fusimalohi, Caroline, Faeamani, Gavin and Moodie, Marjory 2014, Low health-related quality of life in school-aged children in Tonga, a lower-middle income country in the South Pacific, Global Health Action, vol. 7, Article no: 24896, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.3402/gha.v7.24896.

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Title Low health-related quality of life in school-aged children in Tonga, a lower-middle income country in the South Pacific
Author(s) Petersen, Solveig
Swinburn, Boyd
Mavoa, Helen
Fotu, Kalesita
Tupoulahi-Fusimalohi, Caroline
Faeamani, Gavin
Moodie, MarjoryORCID iD for Moodie, Marjory orcid.org/0000-0001-6890-5250
Journal name Global Health Action
Volume number 7
Season Article no: 24896
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Co-Action Publishing
Place of publication Jaerfaella, Sweden
Publication date 2014-08
ISSN 1654-9880
Keyword(s) adolescent health
child health
community health
epidemiology
low-income population
mental health
quality of life
Summary Background:
Ensuring a good life for all parts of the population, including children, is high on the public health agenda in most countries around the world. Information about children’s perception of their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and its socio-demographic distribution is, however, limited and almost exclusively reliant on data from Western higher income countries.

Objectives:
To investigate HRQoL in schoolchildren in Tonga, a lower income South Pacific Island country, and to compare this to HRQoL of children in other countries, including Tongan children living in New Zealand, a high-income country in the same region.

Design:
A cross-sectional study from Tonga addressing all secondary schoolchildren (11–18 years old) on the outer island of Vava’u and in three districts of the main island of Tongatapu (2,164 participants). A comparison group drawn from the literature comprised children in 18 higher income and one lower income country (Fiji). A specific New Zealand comparison group involved all children of Tongan descendent at six South Auckland secondary schools (830 participants). HRQoL was assessed by the self-report Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0.

Results:
HRQoL in Tonga was overall similar in girls and boys, but somewhat lower in children below 15 years of age. The children in Tonga experienced lower HRQoL than the children in all of the 19 comparison countries, with a large difference between children in Tonga and the higher income countries (Cohen’s d 1.0) and a small difference between Tonga and the lower income country Fiji (Cohen’s d 0.3). The children in Tonga also experienced lower HRQoL than Tongan children living in New Zealand (Cohen’s d 0.6).

Conclusion:
The results reveal worrisome low HRQoL in children in Tonga and point towards a potential general pattern of low HRQoL in children living in lower income countries, or, alternatively, in the South Pacific Island countries.
Language eng
DOI 10.3402/gha.v7.24896
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Co-Action Publishing
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30065583

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Population Health
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.