chapter  Nine
4 Pages

Chronic paediatric illness

WithQuentin Spender, Niki Salt, Judith Dawkins, Tony Kendrick, Peter Hill, David Hall, Jackie Carnell

Acute illness may be a shock but, provided that recovery is complete, children and their families are likely to return to normal functioning and their usual routine very quickly. In contrast, the consequences of a continuing illness permeate every aspect of the child's life, and are likely to affect every member of the family to some extent. Assessment may be useful to think about the effects on different family members and on the family as a whole. One way of approaching this is to consider first the effects on the child, then the effects on the parents, then the impact on other family members living at home, and finally the effect on family members elsewhere. The primary care team may need to complement a specialist team if the latter is involved. Specialist teams may focus very much on the child's needs. Psychological and social problems are more common in children with chronic physical illness.