Chronic Disease Management
If your child or teen has a chronic (ongoing) condition, chronic disease management can help reduce symptoms and flare-ups. Adolescent medicine specialists provide primary health care for youth with chronic conditions.
Chronic disease management uses an integrated care approach to improve your child’s well-being. It may include screenings, checkups, monitoring, and coordinating treatment among your child’s care providers.
When your child receives regular treatment for chronic disease, it can help improve their quality of life and, in some cases, reduce the impact of the chronic condition on everyday life. Chronic conditions that may need ongoing management include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Complications related to having been born premature, including chronic lung disease, retinopathy of prematurity, nephropathy of prematurity, and developmental delays
- Cystic fibrosis
- Mental illness
- Spina bifida
Blood or urine tests
Blood or urine tests help doctors diagnose and monitor the progress of a chronic condition.
Noninvasive imaging tests — such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray, or computerized tomography (CT) — help doctors diagnose or check the status of a chronic illness.
Your child is seen by their pediatrician and any needed sub-specialists on a regular basis. During the checkups, the doctor examines your child, asks questions about their health, and evaluates the progression or symptoms.
Your child may need to undergo physical, occupational, or another type of therapy to help reduce symptoms, depending on the condition.
Your child’s doctor may recommend a counselor or therapist to help your child learn how to cope with having a chronic disease. Counseling can give your child an opportunity to talk about how they feel and get advice to improve their emotional well-being.
Doctors often prescribe medications to control symptoms and help your child feel better.
Depending on your child’s condition and situation, the doctor may recommend surgery to help manage symptoms.