Study: Youths in residential treatment have high rates of health problems
The issues involving a number of youths who land in residential treatment programs such as Boys Town are familiar: They have histories of juvenile delinquency; they struggle in school; they come from unstable homes; they suffer from abuse.
One frequently overlooked factor, however, is that they also often suffer from any number of physical ailments.
A new University of Nebraska-Lincoln study in collaboration with Boys Town, in fact, has found that more than a third of youths admitted to Boys Town over the last 10 years had physical maladies -- often at much higher rates than the national average.
The study, published this week in the journal Pediatrics, examined the medical evaluations of nearly 1,800 youths there from 2000 to 2010. Timothy Nelson, assistant professor of psychology at UNL and lead author of the study, said about 34 percent had a diagnosable physical health condition at the time of their arrival.
Many youths -- almost 18 percent -- had diseases of the respiratory system. Specifically, 15.3 percent were diagnosed with asthma, which is more than twice the national average. Other common diagnoses included dermatitis, migraines, hearing loss, heart murmurs, scoliosis and anemia, the study showed.
The findings, among the first to specifically show that those in residential treatment have high rates of physical health problems, has implications for the estimated 200,000 children and teens in residential care in the United States.
"Many of these youths have a complex combination of medical and behavioral issues, but it is easy to overlook their medical needs when behavior problems are severe," Nelson said. "Identifying and addressing youth needs -- both emotional and physical -- is crucial for promoting overall well-being."
Also among the findings:
-- Females (37.5 percent) were more likely to suffer from a physical ailment than males (31.5 percent).
-- Rates of physical health conditions differ significantly by ethnicity. African-American (36.4 percent) and Caucasian (35.4 percent) youths showed the highest rates, while Hispanic youths (23.2 percent) showed the lowest.
-- About 7.5 percent were diagnosed with at least two conditions, 1.8 percent three or more.
Why were physical health problems so high? Nelson said there could be several contributing factors: Such youths tend to have high rates of behavioral and emotional problems, a source of chronic stress that in turn can contribute to compromised immune functioning. Also, poverty, family stress, parental psychopathology and exposure to traumatic events can contribute to medical issues. Finally, multiple out-of-home placements during childhood can lead to fragmented and substandard medical care.
The researchers recommended that youths entering residential care receive a thorough medical evaluation during their admission process and that medical homes for youths are established to ensure ongoing assessment and intervention during their stay, regardless of length. Also, planning for ongoing medical care and management of any existing conditions should be an integral part of the discharge process, Nelson said.
"Integrated medical and mental health treatment is key," Nelson said. "Physical and emotional factors can influence each other, so you can't just focus on one and not the other."
Provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Majority of Americans think they pay more toward social security and medicare than they do Jun 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Hot, Humid Weather Could Affect Asthma Sufferers Jul 21, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Losing weight, keeping it off might require distinct skill sets Jul 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- FDA announces new limits on high-dose simvastatin (Zocor) Jun 09, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Fighting drug-resistant 'super-bugs': UCLA expert offers protection tips May 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Calorie information in fast food restaurants used by 40 percent of 9-18 year olds when making food choices
A new study published online today (Thursday) in the Journal of Public Health has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the U.S. in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely ...
Health 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
Health 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The Obama administration says more doctors and hospitals are embracing technology as adoption of computerized medical records reaches a "tipping point" in America.
Health 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A University of Illinois researcher says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "because ...
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
16 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
16 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 2 |
Existing research shows that bicyclists who wear helmets have an 88 percent lower risk of brain injury, but researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found that simply having bicycle helmet laws in place showed a 20 percent ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
12 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |