Children with congenital colorectal malformations often require special education or remedial teaching, despite normal intelligence

Desiree Hondel, Femke Aarsen, Rene Wijnen, C.E.J. Sloots, Hanneke IJsselstijn

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Aim: This study prospectively evaluated neuropsychological functioning in 8-year-old patients with anorectal malformation (ARM) and Hirschsprung's disease (HD). Methods: School functioning and behaviour were assessed in a standardised interview. Intelligence, attention, self-esteem and quality of life were evaluated with validated tests and questionnaires. The following predictors were assessed: socio-economic status, number of episodes of general anaesthesia, laxative treatment and premature birth. Severely intellectually disabled patients were excluded. Results: In total, twelve of the 23 (52%) patients with ARM and 11 (55%) of the 20 patients with HD received special education or remedial teaching. The intelligence quotient was normal: mean (standard deviation or SD) was 98 (17) and 96 (17), respectively. However, sustained attention was below the norm: mean (SD) Z-score was -1.90 (1.94) and -1.43 (1.98) for ARM and HD patients; both p < 0.01. Self-esteem was normal: mean (SD) Z-score was 0.10 (1.29) and -0.20 (1.11) for ARM and HD patients. Quality of life was normal in ARM patients and slightly impaired in HD patients. No predictors for neuropsychological outcome were identified. Conclusion: Despite normal intelligence, more than half of these patients received special education or remedial teaching. In addition, problems with sustained attention were found. These findings are important for long-term care.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)E77-E84
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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  • EMC MGC-02-53-01-A

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