Logo of cmajCMAJ Information for AuthorsCMAJ Home Page
CMAJ. 1986 Oct 1; 135(7): 761–767.
PMCID: PMC1491365

Chronic illness and functional limitation in Ontario children: findings of the Ontario Child Health Study.


The Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS) was based on interviews of 1869 Ontario families who were selected by means of a stratified, multistaged sampling method from the 1981 census of Canada. Its primary purpose was to determine the prevalence and distribution of mental health problems in Ontario children aged 4 to 16 years and their families, but it also allowed an estimate of other significant medical conditions and provided an overview of these children's use of health care, education and social services. Our results are based on questionnaire responses concerning 3294 children. Limitation of function without a chronic illness or medical condition was reported in 1.9%, the converse in 14.0%, and a chronic illness or medical condition with limitation of function in 3.7%. When the three groups are considered together, 19.6% of Ontario children had a chronic health problem. Children of lower socioeconomic status were much more likely to have chronic health problems. Overall, children with chronic health problems were more likely to use physician, special education, social and mental health services. These findings have implications for those who provide services for children, plan community programs or train professionals in caring for children.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.8M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Newacheck PW, Budetti PP, McManus P. Trends in childhood disability. Am J Public Health. 1984 Mar;74(3):232–236. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Eisen M, Ware JE, Jr, Donald CA, Brook RH. Measuring components of children's health status. Med Care. 1979 Sep;17(9):902–921. [PubMed]
  • Cassileth BR, Lusk EJ, Strouse TB, Miller DS, Brown LL, Cross PA, Tenaglia AN. Psychosocial status in chronic illness. A comparative analysis of six diagnostic groups. N Engl J Med. 1984 Aug 23;311(8):506–511. [PubMed]
  • Pless IB. Individual and family needs in the health care of children with developmental disorders. Birth Defects Orig Artic Ser. 1976;12(4):91–102. [PubMed]
  • Pless IB, Roghmann KJ. Chronic illness and its consequences: observations based on three epidemiologic surveys. J Pediatr. 1971 Sep;79(3):351–359. [PubMed]
  • Egbuonu L, Starfield Child health and social status. Pediatrics. 1982 May;69(5):550–557. [PubMed]
  • Pless IB, Satterwhite B, Van Vechten D. Division, duplication and neglect: patterns of care for children with chronic disorders. Child Care Health Dev. 1978 Jan-Feb;4(1):9–19. [PubMed]
  • Stein RE, Jessop DJ, Riessman CK. Health care services received by children with chronic illness. Am J Dis Child. 1983 Mar;137(3):225–230. [PubMed]

Articles from CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Medical Association


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...