OBJECTIVES: To examine the perceived competence of children with different types of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and to investigate the possible relationships between their perceived competence and impairment parameters.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: National referral center (hospital) for the treatment of children with OI.
PATIENTS: Forty children with OI (type I = 17; type III = 11; type IV = 12) with a mean age +/- standard deviation of 12.6 +/- 3.2 years.
INTERVENTIONS: Measured joint range of motion (ROM) in the upper extremities (UEs), and lower extremities (LEs), muscle strength, functional skills, ambulation, and perceived competence.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Joint ROM in UE and LE; muscle strength (using the manual muscle testing criteria of the Medical Research Council); functional skills using the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory in 3 domains (self-care, mobility, social function). Ambulation (according to Bleck and classified as nonwalking, therapy walking, household walking, neighborhood walking, community walking with or without the use of crutches), and perceived competence (using the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children, which was cross-culturally validated for Dutch children).
RESULTS: In children with type I, joint ROM and muscle strength were almost comparable to the healthy population. In children with type III, a severe decrease in joint ROM was measured, especially in the LEs, and muscle strength was severely decreased in the UEs and LEs. In children with type IV, joint ROM and muscle strength decreased, especially in the LEs. In all types, fairly to strongly positive perceived competence was measured except for fairly negative perceived competence in the athletic performance subscale in type I and a fairly negative perceived competence in the romance subscale in type III. No correlations were found between (1) joint ROM and athletic performance and physical appearance, (2) muscle strength and athletic performance or physical appearance, or (3) the functional skills, concerning self-care and mobility, with the subscales of the perceived competence.
CONCLUSIONS: Although joint ROM, muscle strength, and functional and walking ability were related to the severity of the disease and differed significantly between the different types of OI, overall perceived competence in children with OI was fairly to strongly positive, without significant differences between the different types of OI.