BACKGROUND: Quality of life (QoL) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is essential to investigate with regard to knowledge about factors of importance for QoL and concordance between self-reported and parental proxy-reported QoL.
AIMS: This study investigated QoL in adolescents and adults with ASD using both self-reports and parental proxy-reports.
METHODS: From a nationwide survey, 1738 individuals diagnosed with ASD in childhood, were included for this study. The individuals themselves and/or their parents completed the INICO-FEAPS scale. Concordance between self-reports and proxy-reports were examined, and factors associated with QoL were explored via linear regression models.
RESULTS: Compared to proxy-reported QoL scores, self-reported QoL scores were significantly but only slightly higher and not in every QoL domain. Independent of respondent type it was found that psychiatric comorbidity, sleeping difficulty, intellectual disability, maladaptive behavior, adaptive functioning, autism symptomatology, main daytime activity and residence were associated with QoL.
CONCLUSION: Proxy-reported QoL is different from self-reported QoL and should be considered as an alternative source of information. QoL might be enhanced when factors associated with QoL are improved. However, large variations in QoL were found for most factors, suggesting the need to involve the individuals with ASD and/or their families when improving their QoL.