The impact of childhood conditions and concurrent morbidities on child health and well-being

Waters, E., Davis, E., Nicolas, C. and Lo, S.K. 2008, The impact of childhood conditions and concurrent morbidities on child health and well-being, Child : care, health and development, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 418-429.

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Title The impact of childhood conditions and concurrent morbidities on child health and well-being
Author(s) Waters, E.
Davis, E.
Nicolas, C.
Lo, S.K.
Journal name Child : care, health and development
Volume number 34
Issue number 4
Start page 418
End page 429
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2008-06-05
ISSN 0305-1862
1478-1972
1365-2214
Keyword(s) children and adolescents
health conditions
multiple morbidities
quality of life
Summary Background. Understanding the impact of illnesses and morbidities experienced by children and adolescents is essential to clinical and population health programme decision making and intervention research. This study sought to: (1) examine the population prevalence of physical and mental health conditions for children and quantify their impact on multiple dimensions of children's health and well-being; and (2) examine the cumulative effect of concurrent conditions.

Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional school-based epidemiological study of 5414 children and adolescents aged 5–18 years, and examined parental reports of child health and well-being using the parent-report Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) PF50 13 scales are scored on a 0–100 pt scale with clinically meaningful differences of five points and the presence of childhood conditions (illnesses and health problems).

Results. Asthma, dental, vision and allergies are the most commonly identified health problems for children and adolescents, followed by attention- and behaviour-related problems (asthma 17.9–23.2%, dental 11.9–22.7%, vision 7.2–14.7%, chronic allergies 8.8–13.9%, attention problems 5.1–13.8% and behaviour problems 5.7–12.0%). As the number of concurrent health problems increase, overall health and well-being decreases substantively with mean differences in CHQ scale scores of 14 points (−7.69 to −21.51) for physical health conditions, and 28 points (−5.15 to −33.81) for mental health conditions.

Conclusions. Children's health and well-being decreases linearly with increasing presence and frequency of health problems. Having three or more conditions concurrently significantly burdens children's health and well-being, particularly for family-related CHQ domains, with a greater burden experienced for mental health conditions than physical health conditions.
Language eng
Field of Research 111403 Paediatrics
Socio Economic Objective 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017969

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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