The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 447–453 | Cite as

Psychosocial aspects of chronic illness in adolescence

  • Anisha Abraham
  • Tomas J. Silber
  • Maureen Lyon
Symposium: Behavioural Pediatrics — I


Success in the survival of children with significant medical conditions has resulted in a dramatic increase in the prevalence of adolescents with chronic illness. Unfortunatelly, the traditional biomedical approach does not prepare practitioners for the complexities of managing chronic illness, because numerous psychosocial factors are involved. This article will address the need for integrating psychosocial issues into the assessment and treatment of the chronically ill adolescent. Assessment of the teen should incorporate an understanding of the developmental stages of adolescence, a review of how these developmental tasks are being accomplished, a discernment of individual characteristics, and knowledge of the family and community to which they belong. Management should take into account the phases of illness (acute, chronic or terminal) and encourage empowerment of the adolescent and family in decision making. A team approach that is community—based, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate is ideal.

Key words

Chronic illness Adolescence Psychosocial aspects 


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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anisha Abraham
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tomas J. Silber
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maureen Lyon
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General Pediatric and Adolescent MedicineChildren's National Medical CentreWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.George Washington School of MedicineWashington, DCUSA

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