Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Kids Get Caught in Deadly Cross-Fire of Domestic ViolenceTwo Factors at Birth Can Boost a Child's Obesity RiskCDC Probe Continues as Cases of Polio-Like Illness Rise in KidsHealth Tip: Limit Fat, Sugar and Salt in Your Child's DietSome Activity Fine for Kids Recovering From Concussions, Docs SayDead End for Treatment of Polio-Like Disorder Striking KidsAHA: Traumatic Childhood Could Increase Heart Disease Risk in AdulthoodSmartphones, Summer Birth Could Raise Kids' Odds for NearsightednessHealth Tip: If Your Child Develops a FeverPediatricians Renew Call to Abandon SpankingSleep May Speed Kids' Recovery From ConcussionSharp Rise Seen in Kids' ER Visits for Mental Health WoesInjured Parent Can Mean Sleepless Nights for KidsObesity May Harm Kids' Academics, Coping SkillsInstant-Soup Burns Send Almost 10,000 Kids to ERs Each YearHealth Tip: A Pediatrician's Role in Special EducationCommon Chemical Tied to Language Delay in KidsIn California, Some Doctors Sell 'Medical Exemptions' for Kids' VaccinationsGetting Flu Shot Annually Won't Undermine Its Effectiveness in KidsSmoke Alarm With Mom's Voice Wakes Children FasterDon't Blame Just Air Pollution for Asthma in KidsObesity a Painful Reality for 1 in 6 U.S. YouthsAHA: Heart Health's Impact on Brain May Begin in ChildhoodDisabling Hip Ailment Is Another Health Risk for Obese KidsTry Small 'Bites' to Get Kids to ExerciseCDC Warns of Polio-Like Virus Striking More U.S. KidsCountries That Ban Spanking See Less Teen Violence: StudyHealth Tip: Know the Risks of Chicken PoxKids' Concussion Symptoms May Persist for a YearAdd Asthma to List of Possible Causes of Childhood ObesityHealth Tip: Teach Your Kids ToleranceHealth Tip: Treat Your Child's AllergiesMore Evidence Video Games May Trigger Aggression in KidsDeath Rates for Young Americans Drop, But Still Too HighJust Witnessing School Violence Can Leave Psychic ScarsGrowing Up Poor May Permanently Damage Thinking SkillsFast Foods' Healthier Options Might Not Help Kids Eat BetterBrief Exercise Breaks During Class Help Bodies, BrainsCan Too Much Screen Time Dumb Down Your Kid?Booster Shots Safe for Most Kids Who Have Vaccine Reaction: Study5 Tips to Manage Your Child's AsthmaMom-to-Be's High-Gluten Diet Linked to Type 1 Diabetes in BabyHealth Tip: Protect Your Child's HearingCould Household Cleaners Make Your Kid Fat?Picky Eating May Mask Larger IssuesMore Water, Mom? H2O Is Top Kids' Beverage in U.S.How to Reassure Kids When Florence StrikesNew Drug Could Help Kids With MSAHA: Get Your (Exer)game On to Make Screen Time Pay OffHealth Tip: Connect With Your Child
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)
Childhood Special Education

For Kids, Chronic Illness May Trigger Mental Health Issues

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: Jan 15th 2018

new article illustration

MONDAY, Jan. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When children learn they have a long-term illness, such as diabetes or epilepsy, they're likely to suffer emotionally, too, a small study finds.

These mental health issues surface soon after the diagnosis, the Canadian researchers said.

Surveying 50 kids with a chronic illness and their parents, the study authors found anxiety disorders were most common.

"Regardless of their condition, children with physical and mental health problems experience a significant decline in their quality of life within the first six months after receiving their diagnosis," said researcher Mark Ferro.

The findings suggest a need for mental health services early on, said Ferro, a professor in the University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems.

For the study, the investigators surveyed kids aged 6 to 16 within one month of learning they had asthma, food allergy, epilepsy, diabetes or juvenile arthritis. The researchers also questioned their parents.

Parents' responses revealed that 58 percent of the kids were also struggling with at least one mental health issue. This suggests long-term health issues can quickly take a toll on children's well-being, the study authors said.

A much smaller percentage of kids self-reported symptoms of a mental health issue (18 percent), according to the study.

The discrepancy indicates that pediatricians should talk to parents or other caregivers, not just young patients, to get a more complete picture of their mental health, the researchers suggested.

The results were published online recently in BMJ Open.

"These findings show that risk for mental disorder is relatively the same among children with different physical conditions," Ferro said in a journal news release.

With time, some of the children saw their emotional struggles ease. The number exhibiting signs of mental health issues dropped to 42 percent six months after diagnosis, according to the report.

Study lead author Alexandra Butler, a graduate student at Waterloo, said that "it is possible that the number is higher very early because there is some uncertainty surrounding the prognosis, or unanswered questions about management and treatment."

So, she added, "it is important to not only identify at-risk children early but to also have resources to support them."

More information

There's more about children's mental health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.