Article by: Josef Neu Abstract The level of gastrointestinal (GI) maturity of an individual infant is a major determinant of whether the infant will be able to meet nutritional needs by sole use of the GI tract or if parenteral means will be necessary. The GI tract is not only an organ for digestion and …read more
Annual research review: Optimal outcomes of child and adolescent mental illness
Article by: E Jane Costello, Barbara Maughan
Background: ‘Optimal outcomes’ of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders may mean the best possible outcome, or the best considering a child’s history. Most research into the outcomes of child and adolescent psychiatric disorder concentrates on the likelihood of adult illness and disability given an earlier history of psychopathology.
Methods: In this article, we review the research literature (based on a literature search using PubMed, RePORT and Google Advanced Scholar databases) on including optimal outcomes for young people with a history of anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or substance use disorders in childhood or adolescence. We consider three types of risks that these children may run later in development: future episodes of the same disorder, future episodes of a different disorder, and functional impairment. The impact of treatment or preventative interventions on early adult functioning is briefly reviewed.
Results: We found that very few studies enabled us to answer our questions with certainty, but that in general about half of adults with a psychiatric history were disorder-free and functioning quite well in their 20s or 30s. However, their chance of functioning well was less than that of adults without a psychiatric history, even in the absence of a current disorder.
Conclusions: Among adults who had a psychiatric disorder as a child or adolescent, about half can be expected to be disorder-free as young adults, and of these about half will be free of significant difficulties in the areas of work, health, relationships, and crime. Optimal outcomes are predicted by a mixture of personal characteristics and environmental supports.
Link to full publication: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25496295/