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Psychosocial adaptation of children and adolescents with chronic renal failure

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Abstract

In a multicentre study comprising five paediatric nephrology centres in Western Germany, psychosocial and educational parameters were assessed (during 1987) in 479 children and adolescents with chronic renal failure (CRF) in order to gain insight into their psychosocial adaptation to the disease. At the time of assessment, 31% of patients were on conservative treatment, 14% on haemodialysis, 9% on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and 46% had a functioning transplant. The mean age at assessment was 13.6 years. Additional disabilities were noted in 29% of patients. School attendance of the 233 children of school age was in general satisfactory; 22% of patients attended schools for disabled or handicapped children. Vocational training was frequently inadequate, especially for dialysed patients, and only 14 of 53 adolescents over 16 years had graduated. Of 49 adult patients, only 21 were in some form of employment. A lack of age-appropriate independence was observed in a large proportion (86%) of patients over 17 years, who continued to live with their parents or other persons taking care of them, whilst only 14% were living alone or with a partner. We conclude that, despite improved survival, psychosocial adaptation continues to be impaired in paediatric patients with CRF, especially in adolescents and those on dialysis.

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Correspondence to Joachim Rosenkranz.

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Rosenkranz, J., Bonzel, K., Bulla, M. et al. Psychosocial adaptation of children and adolescents with chronic renal failure. Pediatr Nephrol 6, 459–463 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00874014

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Key words

  • Chronic renal failure
  • Psychosocial care
  • Dialysis
  • Transplantation
  • Rehabilitation