Health-related quality of life, health literacy and COVID-19-related worries of 16- to 17-year-old adolescents and parents one year into the pandemic: a cross-sectional study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBMC Public Health. 2022, 22 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-13737-1
Background: The uncertain and challenging situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affects adolescents and their parents in an exceptional way. More knowledge of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), health literacy (HL) and COVID-19-related worries in adolescents and parents 1 year into the pandemic is needed. The present study aimed to describe HRQoL, HL and COVID-19-related worries of 16- to 17-year-old adolescents and parents of adolescents. Further, to assess the strength of associations between gender, HL, COVID-19-related worries and HRQoL. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 215 adolescents and 320 parents was conducted, exploring HRQoL, HL, COVID-19-related worries and sociodemographic variables. KIDSCREEN-10 and RAND-36 were used to measure HRQoL. Data were analyzed using bivariate methods, multiple linear regression and robust regression. Results: Adolescents’ HRQoL was notably lower compared to previous Norwegian studies and European norms. Parents’ HRQoL was comparable to Norwegian norms. Adolescents and parents reported moderate-to-high HL and high degrees of COVID-19-related worries. Females reported significantly lower HRQoL and more worries compared to males. In adolescents, higher HL was significantly associated with higher HRQoL. COVID-19-related worries were not significantly associated with HRQoL. In parents, higher HL in the “understand health information” domain was significantly associated with higher HRQoL for mental well-being (mental component sum scores [MCS]) and with lower HRQoL for physical well-being (physical component sum scores [PCS]). Being worried a lot about infecting others and about family/friends becoming sick was significantly associated with higher MCS and lower MCS, respectively. COVID-19-related worries were not significantly associated with PCS. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the pandemic has a major negative impact on adolescents’ HRQoL. Parents’ HRQoL remained unchanged and comparable to previous studies. Our study demonstrates that HL, gender and COVID-19-related worries are significantly associated with adolescents’ and parents’ HRQoL, indicating that efforts aimed at increasing their HL might indirectly affect their HRQoL as well and that gender-specific interventions or strategies could be beneficial.