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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2003 Jan;32(1):43-50.

Adolescent chronic illness: a qualitative study of psychosocial adjustment.

Author information

1
Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. olsson@cryptic.rch.unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychosocial issues facing young people living with a chronic medical condition.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Subjects were young people with a range of medical conditions who were on a waiting list to participate in the Chronic Illness Peer Support programme at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Young people agreed to in-depth interviews which were taped and transcribed. Thematic analysis was undertaken by two researchers working independently.

RESULTS:

Thirty-five young people were interviewed. Thematic analysis revealed five broad themes: control (in control, under control, out of control); emotional reactions (happiness, frustration, anger, sadness, anxiety); acceptance (of illness, of others, of self); coping strategies, and; a search for meaning. The importance of social connections was emphasised. While illustrating the difficulties of managing a chronic medical condition during adolescence, a generally positive message emerges about these young people.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many young people with chronic illness appear relatively resilient in the face of the adjustment challenges presented by their illness. Interventions that allow a young person to explore meaning, build self-esteem, and acceptance through positive social connections are likely to improve adjustment outcomes in this group.

PMID:
12625097
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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