Vol 65, No 4 (2014)
Original paper
Published online: 2014-08-29

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The cohort effect in studies related to differences in psychosocial functioning of women with Turner syndrome

Zofia Dołęga, Wacław Jeż, Tomasz Irzyniec
DOI: 10.5603/EP.2014.0039
Endokrynol Pol 2014;65(4):287-294.

Abstract

Introduction: The physical health deficits and psychological disorders of women with Turner syndrome (TS) are the deciding factors in their treatment, but also their own relation to their own and their family’s experiences. This study aimed to find the differences in psychosocial functioning of TS women coming from two different generations. These differences show the cohort effect as change in personal functioning and quality of life.

Material and methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 176 TS women and their parents to collect data. The first cohort was composed of patients up to the age of 29 (n = 139), and the second included patients aged 30 or above (n = 37). Fifty-two variables, important from the point of view of health and quality of life, were analysed in two age groups. The paths models were compared to analyse differences between the cohorts.

Results: Belonging to a particular age cohort significantly affected the variance of the biomedical variables tested, which seems to be related to the therapeutic procedure due to an earlier diagnosis and treatment for younger patients. We also found differences in the number and strength of the correlations between the factors of psychosexual development, personal and family resources, socio-economic life, and professional or educational activity.

Conclusions:

1. The psychosocial functioning of TS women changes over time. This is a kind of illustration of the cohort effect.

2. Medical aspects of Turner syndrome may remain in connection with the psychosocial functioning of patients, and determine their quality of life.

3. Psychosociological resources are more complex and involved in younger women with Turner syndrome. (Endokrynol Pol 2014; 65 (4): 287–294)