The aim of this project is to use large, population-based datasets to understand the mental health of children and young people (CYP) with long term physical health conditions (LTCs) over time as well as to establish the risk factors of mental health difficulties in this vulnerable group.
Specifically, the objectives of the study are to:
a) understand the trajectory of mental health in CYP with LTCs over time,
b) investigate the risk factors for the onset and persistence of poor mental health in CYP with LTCs, (including general factors such as parental education and distress and disease-specific factors such as treatment intensity and duration), and
c) explore predictors of access to mental health-related services in CYP with LTCs and mental health comorbidities.
This work is expected to inform the development of integrated mental health care in relation to the planned children’s hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
We use two longitudinal datasets to carry out advanced statistical analyses, namely the Millennium Cohort Study and the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys. Both datasets are nationally representative and include data from CYP (capturing early childhood to late adolescence) and their family members. The Millennium Cohort Study recruited 18,827 children at baseline (in 2001/02). Baseline samples (1999 and 2004) of the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys included 10,438 children and 7,977 children, respectively.
The project is funded by the Beryl Alexander Charity.