Health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression in young adults with disability benefits due to childhood-onset somatic conditions

Eefje Verhoof, Heleen Maurice-Stam, Hugo Heymans, Martha Grootenhuis

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

18 Citaten (Scopus)


Background: As the treatment of chronic or life-threatening diseased children has dramatically over recent decades, more and more paediatric patients reach adulthood. Some of these patients are successfully integrating into adult life; leaving home, developing psychosocially, and defining a role for themselves in the community through employment. However, despite careful guidance and support, many others do not succeed. A growing number of adolescents and young adults who have had a somatic disease or disability since childhood apply for disability benefits. The purpose of this study was to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL), anxiety and depression of young adults receiving disability benefits because of somatic conditions compared to reference groups from the general Dutch population and to explore factors related to their HRQoL, anxiety and depression.Methods: Young adults (N = 377, 22-31 yrs, 64.3% female) claiming disability benefits completed the RAND-36 and an online version of the HADS. Differences between respondents and both reference groups were tested using analysis of variance and logistic regression analysis by group and age (and gender). Regression analyses were conducted to predict HRQoL (Mental and Physical Component Scale; RAND-36) and Anxiety and Depression (HADS) by demographic and disease-related variables.Results: The respondents reported worse HRQoL than the reference group (-1.76 Physical Component Scale; -0.48 Mental Component Scale), and a higher percentage were at risk for an anxiety (29.7%) and depressive (17.0%) disorder. Better HRQoL and lower levels of anxiety and depression were associated with a positive course of the illness and the use of medical devices.Conclusions: This study has found worse HRQoL and feelings of anxiety and depression experienced by young adults claiming disability benefits. Healthcare providers, including paediatric healthcare providers, should pay systematic attention to the emotional functioning of patients growing up with a somatic condition in order to optimise their emotional well-being and adaptation to society during their transition to adulthood. Future research should focus on emotional functioning in more detail in order to identify those patients that are most likely to develop difficulties in emotional functioning and who would benefit from specific psychosocial support aimed at workforce participation.

Originele taal-2Engels
TijdschriftChild and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusGepubliceerd - 15 apr. 2013
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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