Chronic Disease Presentations found in Elementary School Children




Khan, Urooj
Madina, Revanth
Robinson, Christina


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Purpose: For the past few decades, chronic illnesses in children have been increasing. Chronic conditions generally lasts more than three months, affects everyday activities, and can require extensive medical care. In the United States, approximately 18% of children live with a chronic health condition. Common chronic childhood diseases include asthma, obesity, food allergies, and ADHD. Catch-1 is a health program which offers free health screenings to elementary students. It features a team of health providers including physicians, nurses, dental hygienists, audiologists, and speech pathologists, as well as their respective students. Through this program, health screenings are provided to the children of Morningside Elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas, while fostering an interprofessional learning environment. In this study, the investigators discovered the prevalence of common chronic diseases in the school's pediatric population. Methods: The investigators conducted a retrospective chart analysis to illustrate a statistical overview of the chronic diseases of Catch-1 participants during the years 2015 - Spring of 2019. The participants were aged three to twelve, from Pre-K to 5th grade. Results: The primary diagnoses were obesity (32%), dental carries (21%), and BMI > 85%ile (18%). Most of the participants had one diagnosis (68%), while 22% had two, 2% had three, and 32% had none. Conclusion: The results of the Catch-1 program highlight the need for regular medical screenings for children. Ideally, these results will encourage policy makers to expand school nursing and medical partnerships so that chronic conditions may be screened, and interventions may occur earlier.