The findings showed that anxiety disorders were most common, including separation anxiety, generalized anxiety and phobias, in kids with chronic illness such as asthma, food allergy, epilepsy, diabetes or juvenile arthritis.
‘The quality of life declines in children with physical and mental health problems.’
For the study, detailed in the journal BMJ Open,
the team from the University of Waterloo surveyed children between the age of six and 16.
According to parents' responses to a standardized interview, 58 percent of children screened positive for at least one mental disorder.
Six months after diagnosis, the number of kids showing signs of a mental disorder dipped slightly to 42 percent.
"These findings show that risk for mental disorder is relatively the same among children with different physical conditions," said Mark Ferro, Professor at Waterloo.
"Regardless of their condition, children with physical and mental health problems experience a significant decline in their quality life within the first six months after receiving their diagnosis, indicating a need for mental health services early on," Ferro added
The researchers found that age and gender had no impact on the results. A subset of kids self-reported on their own mental health.