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Mental health issues in children and adolescents with chronic illness

Alan M. Delamater (Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA)
Adriana Guzman (Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA)
Katherine Aparicio (Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider mental health issues in children and adolescents with chronic illness or health conditions, including their treatment, and issues related to delivery of services.

Design/methodology/approach

A selective review of the literature was conducted to highlight significant mental health issues and their treatment in youth with various types of chronic illness.

Findings

A significant portion of youth experience mental health problems related to their chronic health conditions. While evidence-based treatments are available to address these problems, significant barriers exist that impede the delivery of psychological and behavioral interventions for many youth.

Research limitations/implications

More controlled studies are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness and cost offset of delivering psychological and behavioral interventions for the population of youth with various types of chronic health conditions, particularly in clinical and community settings.

Social implications

Policy reform can ensure that mental health issues are effectively addressed for children with chronic illness. Policy is needed that promotes integrated health care, whereby psychological and behavioral interventions are delivered in health care settings along with medical interventions to reduce barriers to care.

Originality/value

Significant numbers of children and adolescents have chronic health conditions and many experience mental health problems related to their conditions. While evidence-based treatments are available to address these problems, significant barriers impede the delivery of psychological and behavioral interventions for many youth. Health care policy promoting integrated health care to deliver psychological and behavioral interventions in health care settings along with medical interventions should reduce barriers to care and improve both physical and mental health outcomes for youth.

Keywords

Citation

Delamater, A.M., Guzman, A. and Aparicio, K. (2017), "Mental health issues in children and adolescents with chronic illness", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 163-173. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-05-2017-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited