Growing up with cystic fibrosis: achievement, life satisfaction, and mental health

Abstract
Purpose  
Significant improvements in survival of patients with cystic fibrosis lead clinicians and researchers to focus on how patients
can be enabled to lead as normal a life as possible throughout their entire life span. The study aimed at analyzing the vocational
and social achievement, life satisfaction, and psychological well-being of adolescents and adults with cystic fibrosis.

Methods  
During a routine clinic visit, 670 German patients with cystic fibrosis (12–64 years, M = 23.1) completed questionnaires on their vocational and social achievement, life satisfaction, and symptoms of anxiety and
depression. Cross-sectional analyses were applied across four age-groups (12–20 years, 21–30 years, 31–40 years, and 41 years
and older).

Results  
Most patients with cystic fibrosis reached employment and independence from their parents during adulthood. Life satisfaction
was negatively associated with age, with the largest difference between the second and third life decade. A strong negative
association of anxious and depressive symptoms with life satisfaction was found. Lung function was significantly positively
related to life satisfaction, even though this association was less pronounced.

Conclusions  
Most patients with cystic fibrosis achieve ordinary social and vocational development into adulthood. A favorable mental health
status seems more important than pulmonary function to maintain a good satisfaction with life.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Pages 1-7
  • DOI 10.1007/s11136-011-0096-0
  • Authors
    • Tanja Besier, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychotherapy, University Hospital Ulm, Steinhoevelstr. 5, 89075 Ulm, Germany
    • Lutz Goldbeck, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychotherapy, University Hospital Ulm, Steinhoevelstr. 5, 89075 Ulm, Germany
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