Care of adolescents with chronic conditions


Care of adolescents with chronic conditions


Adolescent Health Committee; Canadian Paediatric Society


Paediatrics & Child Health




Pediatrics; Adolescent Transitions; Adolescents; Chronic Illness


It is estimated that between 14.8% and 18% of all youths in North America have a chronic health condition or a special health care condition (eg, impairments, such as musculoskeletal impairments, speech defects, deafness and hearing loss, blindness and visual impairments; and diseases, such as asthma and heart disease) that affects them and their families (1,2). They may have survived life-threatening illnesses that, until recently, had a high mortality rate, or survive longer with improved medical care and technology. It is estimated that up to 98% of children diagnosed with a chronic health condition may now reach the age of 20 years (3,4), depending on the condition. Some may also have physical and mental disabilities resulting from their primary illness. Many have to deal with the psychological consequences of their condition and the continuing involvement of numerous medical and paramedical personnel in their lives. The care and follow-up of many of these adolescents are often fragmented, and relies heavily on subspecialists and therapists who may practice far from their home. Adolescents with chronic health conditions that are less obvious or less serious may not get the support they need from physicians or other adults. This position statement is intended to assist specialists, subspecialists and primary care physicians who provide care to youth with chronic conditions.


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Adolescent Health Committee; Canadian Paediatric Society, “Care of adolescents with chronic conditions,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed March 28, 2023,

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