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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Risk behaviors screening in Thai adolescents with acute and chronic illnesses

Lalit Leelathipkul
  • Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Suwanna Ruangkanchanasetr
  • Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jiraporn Arunakul
  • Corresponding author
  • Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Bangkok, Thailand
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Published Online: 2018-10-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0047



Adolescence is considered as a transition period from childhood to adulthood. This transition leads to various types of risk behaviors. Ten percent of adolescents suffer from a chronic illness that can limit their daily activities and which may exhibit higher rates of risk behaviors than those without chronic illnesses.


To evaluate the prevalence of risk behaviors in chronically ill adolescents compared to adolescents without chronic illnesses and their associated risk factors.


We enrolled 312 patients aged 10–20 years who visited Ramathibodi Hospital from January 2015 to December 2017. There were 161 adolescents with chronic illnesses and 151 without a chronic illness. We used a computer-based program for the Youth Risk Behaviors Survey as well as a confidentiality interview. Statistical analyses included the chi-squared (χ2) and Student’s t-tests as appropriate.


The risk behaviors in chronically ill adolescents were the following: learning problems, 86.3%; excessive screen time, 62.3%; unintentional injuries, 60.2%; depression, 38.5%; low self-esteem, 18.1%; substance abuse, 13% and sexual behavior, 6.2%. Youths with a chronic illness were more likely to report significantly higher risk of excessive screen time (62.3% vs. 48%, p = 0.01), depression (38.5% vs. 15.9%, p < 0.01) and, also low self-esteem (18.1% vs. 8.6%, p = 0.01) compared to those without chronic illness.


These results indicated that adolescents with chronic illnesses engage more in health risk behaviors and are prone to mental health and learning problems. These data emphasize the importance of health risk behavior screening and preventive counseling for young patients with chronic illnesses where these risks might worsen their disease.

Keywords: adolescents with chronic illness; Asian adolescents; excessive screen time; mental health problems; risk behaviors


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About the article

Received: 2018-02-27

Accepted: 2018-08-28

Published Online: 2018-10-30

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180047, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0047.

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