Children and adolescents are not small adults: toward a better understanding of multimorbidity in younger populations

Marjan van den Akker*, Mirjam Dieckelmann, Mohammad Akhtar Hussain, Daniela Bond-Smith, Christiane Muth, Sanghamitra Pati, Sonia Saxena, Desiree Silva, Rachel Skoss, Leon Straker, Sandra C Thompson, Judith M Katzenellenbogen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Multimorbidity is of an increasing importance for the health of both children and adults but research has hitherto focused on adult multimorbidity. Hence, public awareness, practice, and policy lack vital information about multimorbidity in childhood and adolescence. We convened an international and interdisciplinary group of experts from six nations to identify key priorities supported by published evidence to strengthen research for children and adolescent with multimorbidity. Future research is encouraged (1) to develop a conceptual framework to capture unique aspects of child and adolescent multimorbidity-including definitions, characteristic patterns of conditions for different age groups, its dynamic nature through childhood and adolescence, and understanding of severity and trajectories for different clusters of multiple chronic conditions, (2) to define new indices to classify the presence of multimorbidity in children and adolescents, (3) to improve the availability and linkage of data across countries, (4) to synthesize evidence on the global phenomenon of multimorbidity in childhood and adolescence and health inequalities, and (5) to involve children and adolescents in research relevant to their health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume149
Early online date9 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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