Long-term mental health effects of a Pediatric Home Care Program

R. E.K. Stein, D. J. Jessop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The increased survival of youngsters with chronic physical disorders has led to concern about their long-term psychological adjustment. Few data are available on how to reduce the psychological morbidity that occurs in the presence of chronic childhood illness. An earlier report of a randomized controlled trial of a pediatric home care program demonstrated that this program, combining comprehensive biomedical and psychosocial care, reduced the short-term psychological morbidity of those receiving home care. However, data have not previously been available on whether the short-term improvement in adjustment is associated with any long-term benefits. This report presents long-term follow-up data collected 4 1/2 to 5 years after enrollment on 68% of the original sample. After this interval there were even larger differences between the experimental and control groups than those previously observed at 6 months and 1 year. This finding provides strong evidence that a comprehensive family-oriented outreach program for youngsters with chronic physical disorders can have longterm mental health benefits. It should encourage clinicians to develop similar programs and investigators to look for long-term effects of other interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-496
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • chronic illness
  • home care
  • long-term follow-up
  • mental health
  • psychological adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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