Influences of chronic physical and mental health conditions on child and adolescent positive health

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Acad Pediatr


OBJECTIVE: Pediatric positive health refers to children's assessments of their well-being. The purpose of this study was to contrast positive health for children aged 8 to 17 years with and without chronic physical and mental health conditions.

METHODS: Data were drawn from the National Institutes of Health Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) research program. Participants included 1,764 children ages 8 to 17 years from 13 ECHO cohorts. We measured positive health using the PROMIS Pediatric Global Health and Life Satisfaction patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures. We used multiple regression to examine cross-sectional associations between the PROs and parent-reported health conditions and sociodemographic variables. We defined a meaningful difference in average scores as a PROMIS T-score difference of >3.

RESULTS: The sample included 45% 13-17 year-olds, 50% females, 8% Latinx, and 23% Black/African-American. 54% had a chronic health condition. Of the 16 chronic conditions included in the study, only chronic pain (β = -3.5; 95% CI: -5.2 to -1.9) and depression (β = -6.6; 95% CI: -8.5 to -4.6) were associated with scoring >3 points lower on global health. Only depression was associated with >3 points lower on life satisfaction (β = -6.2; 95% CI: -8.1 to -4.3). Among those with depression, 95% also had another chronic condition.

CONCLUSION: Many children with chronic conditions have similar levels of positive health as counterparts without chronic conditions. The study results suggest that negative associations between chronic conditions and positive health may be primarily attributable to presence or co-occurrence of depression.

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ePub ahead of print