The adolescent with a chronic condition
The incidence and prevalence of chronic conditions is rising in most developed and developing countries and will constitute the main cause of death by 2020. Among children, and especially among adolescents, increased life expectancy due to improvements in nutrition, hygiene and control of infectious diseases is producing an epidemiologic transition in which noncommunicable diseases including chronic diseases and disability are emerging as major health problems.
The management of any chronic condition during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and physiologic changes accompanied by important individualisation and socialization processes, constitutes a major challenge for the individual, his/her family and the health -care team. The purpose of this paper is to present data related to the epidemiology of chronic diseases during adolescence, to review their impact on the bio-psychosocial processes of adolescence and to provide evidence-based suggestions on how to manage young people with chronic conditions in a comprehensive and holistic way.