In a large study project we tried to determine the number of children and adolescents in the Netherlands with a chronic disease, and to evaluate the consequences of living with this. Therefore we defined and operationalised chronic diseases and health conditions in childhood, in a consensus procedure. Consensus was attained on a definition consisting of four criteria. A disease or condition is considered to be a chronic condition in childhood if (i) it occurs in children aged 0 up to 18 years, (2) the diagnosis is based on medical scientific knowledge and it can be diagnosed using reproducible and valid methods or instruments according to professional standards, (3) it is not (yet) curable, and (4) it has been present longer than three months or it will very probably last longer than three months, or it has occurred three times or more during the past year and will probably reoccur. Adding upon research findings and prevalence rates we estimated that at least 14% of children in the Netherlands are growing up with a chronic disease; counting for at least 500.000 children and adolescents. This is definitely an underestimation because for only a limited number of diseases reliable information was available. We also paid attention to studies on the social consequences of young adults who have been growing up with a chronic disease. Studies in the Netherlands in this area are limited as well. To evaluate the effects of pediatric and child health care on a societal level, and for the planning of health care facilities and other services for children and young adults with chronic conditions, valid and reliable prevalence estimates are needed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Extent and consequences of chronic diseases in children|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Kindergeneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2007|