To assess behavior and quality of life in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) undergoing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy compared with control children.
Prospective controlled study.
Hospital-based pediatric otolaryngology practice.
Forty-two children (25 boys and 17 girls; mean [SD] age, 5.8 [2.5] years) with OSA confirmed by positive findings on polysomnography undergoing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy and 41 control children (29 boys and 12 girls; mean [SD] age, 7.3 [3.8] years) with no history of snoring undergoing unrelated elective surgery.
Parents completed the standardized Child Behavior Checklist and a validated pediatric OSA quality-of-life survey before and 3 months after surgery.
Main Outcome Measures
Child Behavior Checklist T scores and score classifications and quality-of-life survey mean scores.
Change in mean total problem T score was significantly greater in the OSA group (from 51.6 at baseline to 48.3 at follow-up) than in controls (from 45.5 at baseline to 46.7 at follow-up) (P = .03). The improvement in total T score classification (normal vs borderline or abnormal) was significant for children with OSA compared with control children (P = .009). Children with OSA had significant improvements in the quality-of-life survey mean total score and all individual domain scores compared with controls (P<.001).
Behavioral and emotional difficulties are found in children with documented OSA compared with control children, and they improve after treatment. Large improvements in disease-specific quality of life are also found. Scores on a standardized measure of behavior assessment demonstrated significant correlation with scores on a validated quality-of-life instrument.