Risk of new onset and persistent psychopathology in children with long-term physical health conditions: a population-based cohort study

Laura Panagi, Simon R. White, Xiaolu Dai, Sophie Bennett, Roz Shafran, Tamsin Ford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Children and young people (CYP) with long-term physical health conditions (pLTCs) have increased risk of psychopathology compared to physically healthier peers. We explored risk factors for new onset and persistent psychiatric disorders in CYP with pLTCs compared to CYP without pLTCs. This 3-year follow-up study involved a UK representative sample of CYP from the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (N = 7804). We examined potential baseline predictors of new onset and persistent psychiatric disorders at follow-up in four groups of children based on the presence of any physical and/or any psychiatric conditions at baseline. Psychiatric disorders were assessed using standardised multi-informant diagnostic assessment. Separate multivariable binary logistic regressions were conducted for each group. In CYP with pLTCs, rented housing (aOR = 1.42, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.99), non-traditional family structure (aOR = 2.08, 95% CI 1.42 to 3.05), increased parental distress (aOR = 1.09, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.14), and greater peer relationship difficulties (aOR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.39) predicted future psychiatric disorder. Only peer relationship difficulties predicted persistent disorder (aOR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.38) in this group. A greater number of factors predicted the onset of psychiatric disorder in CYP with pLTCs compared to physically healthier peers and similarly, a higher number of factors predicted persistent disorder in CYP without pLTCs. CYP with pLTCs might comprise a group with different vulnerabilities, some of which are potentially tractable and may be useful indicators of patients who require preventable or management interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Children
  • Long-term physical health conditions
  • Predictors
  • Mental health conditions
  • Follow-up

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