Measurement of health-related quality of life in pediatric organ transplantation recipients: a systematic review of the PedsQL transplant module

Michael O. Killian, Kelli N. Triplett, Saba S. Masood, Jason Boehler, Gillian S. Mayersohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To collect and assess the extant empirical literature assessing disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in pediatric transplant recipients using the PedsQL 3.0 Transplant Module (PedsQL-TM) assessment. Study design: A systematic search and review procedure was conducted of research reporting use and results of the PedsQL-TM with samples of pediatric heart, liver, kidney, and lung transplantation. Searches were conducted in nine scholarly databases and two additional sources to identify unpublished research. Multiple reviewers screened studies meeting inclusion criteria in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Results: A final sample of nine studies reported findings for the PedsQL-TM with pediatric organ transplant recipients. Most studies relied on either kidney or liver transplant recipients from single pediatric transplant centers. Factor validity of the PedsQL-TM and inter-rater reliability (IRR) between patients and parents have not been adequately determined. Internal consistency reliability was found as acceptable or excellent across multiple studies. PedsQL-TM scores were found to vary with other HRQOL issues, yet few studies examined their association with medication adherence or posttransplant health outcomes. Conclusions: With the goal of enhancing and sustaining HRQOL in pediatric organ transplant recipients, the need for a psychometrically valid and reliable measure of transplant-specific HRQOL is apparent. Research on the PedsQL-TM supports the promise of this measure although future efforts should be taken to examine measurement issues such as factor validity and IRR. Assessing transplant-specific HRQOL in these patients is paramount for their care and appropriate decision-making by patients, families, and the transplant team.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1146
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Patient report outcomes
  • Pediatrics
  • PedsQL-TM
  • Quality of life
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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