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Published on May 08, 2019

Avera Pediatric Research Findings Published in Prestigious Medical Journal

The medical journal Pediatrics has published the first findings from the PASS ECHO study in which the Avera Research Institute’s Center for Pediatric & Community Research is a cohort and grantee.

As the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the publication is seen as the gold standard in pediatric medical research. Avera’s contribution to it, in conjunction with other cohorts in the National Institutes of Health Prenatal Alcohol in SIDS and Stillbirth (PASS) Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) study, focuses on general health and life satisfaction in children with chronic illnesses.

The study’s conclusions offer good news to families who face conditions such as diabetes, asthma or epilepsy.

“Our study’s conclusions in this area can serve as a powerful reassurance for parents and children who face conditions,” said Amy Elliott, PhD, Chief Clinical Research Officer with the Center for Pediatric & Community Research, a division of the Avera Research Institute. Elliott served as one of the study’s lead authors. “While they face more health concerns, they do not report lower life-satisfaction scores. This study, which worked with more than 1,200 children in three disparate regions globally, is the first to report these types of findings.”

While chronic illnesses are associated with worse general health, they do not limit children from leading satisfying lives, the researchers found. While associations between chronic illness and negative health outcomes are well-established, much less is known about the relation between chronic illness and positive health outcomes, such as life satisfaction.

“Our large multi-cohort study uses innovative measures that evaluate positive aspects of child health beyond the absence of problems,” said Elliott. “We now have novel evidence that children with chronic illness have similar levels of life satisfaction as their peers. This is a big deal not just for families and pediatric providers, but also for primary care physicians and a wide range of nursing professionals. We expect this data will help many people who are living with chronic illnesses; that it will provide them hope and show that these conditions need not limit future life satisfaction.”

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