December 4, 1996

Extremely Low-Birth-Weight Infants at Adolescence: Health Status and Quality of Life-Reply

Author Affiliations

McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario

JAMA. 1996;276(21):1722-1723. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540210030023

In Reply.  —Ms Harrison suggests that ELBW teenagers and their parents engage in denial and that self-reported health status underestimates the burden of morbidity. In support of this position, Harrison cites our data on the same cohort of ELBW children at age 8 years1,2 as well as the psychometric evaluations performed during their teenage years.3As we explained in our article, a clear distinction must be made between the reporting of health status and the values or utilities that individuals ascribe to that particular health state. The assessments at age 8 years represent the clinical viewpoint of health professionals and the values of parents of children in the general public. In interpreting our data, Harrison fails to distinguish between the proportion of 8-year-old children with all attributes at level 1 on the Health Utilities Index Mark 2 scoring function (health status) and the percentage of teenagers who consider themselves at