It is common practice in the case of Turner syndrome (TS) to treat short stature with GH treatment and to induce puberty with estrogens at an age as close to normal puberty as possible. This approach in most cases leads to a height in the normal range in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood in TS. Little data is available, however, on its effect on psychosocial functioning. In the present study, we evaluated psychosocial functioning in a group of 50 women with TS, after reaching final height in two multicenter GH trials. Thirty-six girls participated in a randomized dose-response study from mean (SEM) age 6.8 (0.4) years, and 14 girls participated in a frequency-response study from age 13.2 (0.4) years. After discontinuation of long-term GH treatment, these 50 girls were evaluated for psychosocial functioning at a mean age of 18.8 (0.3) years. GH was given in a dosage of 4 IU/m2/day (∼0.045 mg/kg/day), 6 IU/m2/day, or 8 IU/m2/day. After a mean GH treatment duration of 7.1 (0.4) years, mean final height (ref. normal girls) was FH1.2 (0.2) SD score. Behavioral problem scores (Achenbach) of the TS women were comparable to normal Dutch peers. Although self-perception (Harter total scale: p < 0.01), and bodily attitude (Baardman: p < 0.05) was significantly less positive than for their normal Dutch peers, we found no evidence of depression. TS women rated their family functioning higher than their Dutch peers (p < 0.0001), and had a slightly different coping pattern. These results show that even after reaching a height in most cases within the normal range and puberty induction at a pubertal age, some women with TS still experience psychosocial problems. It is likely, however, that GH and estrogen treatment improved psychosocial functioning. Long-term follow-up of these GH-treated patients will allow an evaluation of their life achievements.

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