Adolescents and young adults with physical illness: a comparative study of psychological distress

Publication type

Journal Article

Author

Publication date

January 15, 2014

Summary:

Aim

There is limited research investigating the relationship between physical illness and psychological distress among adolescents during the transition to young adulthood. This study examined risk for clinically relevant psychological distress over a 10-year period comparing adolescents and young adults with asthma or epilepsy with healthy controls.

Methods

This research used data from the British Household Panel Survey (1991–2009) to compare healthy 16 to 25-year-olds (n=7342) with individuals with asthma (n=1798) and epilepsy (n=117). Psychological distress was measured using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. Controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, generalized linear modeling was used to examine risk of psychological distress over time.

Results

Using healthy individuals as the reference category, prevalence ratios for psychological distress among individuals with asthma and epilepsy ranged from 1.1–2.7 and 2.3–7.0, respectively. Controlling for potential confounding factors (sex, marital status, employment status, income), risk for psychological distress was increased among individuals with asthma (OR=1.94, p<0.0001) or epilepsy (OR=3.45, p=0.0002) compared to healthy controls during the follow-up.

Conclusions

Recognizing the increased risk among individuals with physical illness, paediatric and adult health professionals are well-positioned to facilitate successful transition to adult health services and prevent or reduce psychological distress in this vulnerable population.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Published in

Acta Paediatrica

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 103 , p.32 -37

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.12429

ISSN

8035253

Subjects

Notes

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