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Trends in comorbid physical and mental health conditions in children from 1999 to 2017 in England.

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Newlove-Delgado, Tamsin 
White, Simon R 
Bennett, Sophie 
Heyman, Isobel 


INTRODUCTION: Children with long-term physical health conditions (pLTCs) are at increased risk of mental health conditions but less is known about time trends in the mental health of this group of children. METHODS: We used data from three comparable, population-based surveys of children conducted in 1999, 2004, and 2017. We examined whether the proportion of children aged 5-15 years old with comorbid mental health conditions (measured using the multi-informant Development and Well-being Assessment tool) and pLTCs (measured using parental report) in England increased from 1999 to 2017 using linear regression analysis. RESULTS: Our analysis used data from 8662 (1999), 6401 (2004) and 6219 (2017) children, respectively. The proportion of children with comorbid pLTCs and psychiatric disorders was 0.050 (95% CI = 0.045, 0.055) in 1999, 0.054 (95% CI = 0.049, 0.060) in 2004, and 0.059 (95% CI = 0.053, 0.065) in 2017. The linear regression model revealed a non-significant effect of time on the proportion of children with comorbid pLTCs and psychiatric disorders from 1999 to 2017 (B = 0.0004785; SE = 0.0001256; p = 0.163). CONCLUSION: The estimated prevalence of school-aged children with comorbid pLTCs and mental health conditions in England remained stable since 1999, highlighting the need to prioritize mental health resources for children with physical health comorbidities.



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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
National Institute for Health Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)