INTRODUCTION: The present publication describes chronic conditions of children and adolescents (asthma, ADHD, obesity) in relation to personal, familial and social resources and to health-related quality of life (HRQOL). A database of these investigations is the German health interview and examination survey of children and adolescents (KiGGS), which is representative for 0 to 17 year-olds. The above mentioned chronic conditions occur frequently in this age group and are assumed to have an influence on quality of life and to be related to a lower level of protective factors. METHODS: The investigations used the data of 6813 children and adolescents within the age group of 11 to 17 who participated in the KiGGS study. Information about diagnosed chronic conditions was given by the parents within the framework of the computerassisted medical interview (CAPI) and by completing questionnaires. The personal, familial and social protection factors as well as the quality of life were assessed by the questionnaires, filled in by the adolescents themselves. Instruments used were the Social Support Scale, the Family Climate Scale and KINDL-R. RESULTS: Children and adolescents with asthma seem to have no deficits in the health-related quality of life and in the field of protective factors. This differs from the situation of the obese children as well as from the children with ADHD. Both groups show significant deficits in the health-related quality of life and protection factors. DISCUSSION: The chronic conditions investigated show remarkable differences in the scale values for measuring protective factors and health-related quality of life. Possible explanations are: For asthma as a chronic disease with somatic manifestation effective treatments and therapies exist, so that it has nearly no influence on the self-assessed quality of life. ADHD and obesity result in a decrease of quality of life and in the field of protective factors, possibly caused by social stigmatisation, isolation and demotivation of the concerned children and adolescents. Therefore it is important to support those children and adolescents to cope with their disease-related problems. The results illustrate that in addition to the immediate effects of chronic conditions on the concerned children and their families, it is the quality of life and the familial and social environment that should be specifically addressed in further studies.
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