Chronic Health Problems in Teens

Chronic health problems during the teen years can often make physical and emotional development more complicated.

Illness, injury, medical treatments, hospitalization, and surgeries related to chronic illness can cause a teen to worry even more about his or her physical appearance. They can also interfere with a teen's desire to be independent. Chronic illness also affects a teen's relationships with parents and friends. A teen with a chronic health issue may struggle to cope with illness and response to treatment.


Adolescent medicine focuses on addressing the health needs of the adolescent's illness, condition, or injury. Adolescent medicine also anticipates and assesses developmental complications associated with the healthcare needs of the specific medical problem. Healthcare providers in adolescent medicine help adolescents and their families to develop strategies to deal with chronic health issues.