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Child Health Case-17-Year-Old Female

Child Health Case-17-Year-Old Female

The case presented is of a 17-year-old female. She is a normal-weight high school student with anxiety. She lives with her roommate in a dorm. Her roommate is of normal weight and has depression.

Health Issues and Risks Relevant to the Child

The child in the case has anxiety. Anxiety disorder is a mental health illness common among teenagers. This disorder is characterized by a sustained or intense fear of social situations that are otherwise considered harmless by others. If not managed adequately, anxiety can lead to other serious mental health illnesses such as depression, suicide and suicidal ideation, and substance abuse disorder (Koet et al., 2022). For learners, anxiety can result in poor performance. The patient in the case also lived with a roommate who has depression.

Consistently, looking after individuals with depression can be exceedingly stressful. It can arouse emotional, cognitive, and somatic problems. Fekadu et al. (2019) note that being close to individuals with mental health illnesses such as depression and assuming a caretaker role may predispose individuals to problems such as insomnia, fatigue, guilt, fear, and anger. The patient, having a depressed roommate, may be at risk of developing problems such as insomnia, guilt, anger, and fatigue.  The patient is also a normal growing adolescent. She is predisposed to other health risks affecting adolescent students, such as substance use, negative peer influences, and consequential risky behaviours such as alcohol use, poor sexual health, poor nutrition, and teenage pregnancy.

Additional Information Required to Assess Weight-related Health

Assessing the weight-related health of the patient is key to determining her nutritional health. Additional information, such as family history, may be necessary when assessing the patient’s weight-related health. This is because of the genetic influences genes have on weight disorders. Flores-Dorantes et al. (2020) report that a genetic predisposition to weight disorders exists, with genetic influences on an individual’s weight being as great as 70% in some individuals. The patient in the case is thus more likely to develop a form of weight disorder if she has a family member with a weight disorder. Information on the level of physical activity and nutritional patterns may also be useful in ascertaining the patient’s weight-related health. Physical activity has been correlated with human weight. Robinson & Stensel (2022) notes that inactive persons or individuals with low physical activity are more likely to develop obesity. Nutrition also plays a role in weight-related health. Persons consuming diets abundant in highly processed carbohydrates are more likely to be overweight or obese (van Baak et al., 2021). The patient’s medical and psychiatric history are other assessment points to be considered. Patients with mental health illnesses such as anorexia nervosa are likely to be underweight. Likewise, patients with chronic somatic illnesses such as hyperthyroidism are also likely to be underweight. All these should be included when assessing the patient in the case.

Patient’s Risks and Information Needed to Understand the Child’s Health

The patient may be at risk of being underweight because he has anxiety. Chronic anxiety is a causal factor for being underweight. Koet et al. (2022) note that anxiety can result in metabolic changes, lowered food intake, changes in bowel functionalities, and enhanced body movements. All of these result in potential weight loss. The patient also lives with a roommate who has depression. Living with a depressed roommate may aggravate her anxiety and even predispose her to stress, which also contributes to weight loss.

Information on the child’s underlying illness is crucial to fully understand the child’s health. This will give an insight into somatic, cognitive, and behavioural issues that may be involved in the child’s manifestations. Information on the onset of her anxiety symptoms, what exacerbates her symptoms, the frequency of anxiety manifestations, and how her disease affects her functioning are all crucial.

When gathering this information, it is important to recognize apparent cultural diversification in healthcare. Maintaining sensitivity to cultural differences is thus necessary. In this regard, the language used to gather this information should be tailored toward the patient. Caregivers must also demonstrate empathy, have good listening skills, and be able to utilize non-verbal communication techniques. These will help them develop a good therapeutic relationship with the patient, facilitating good information flow from the patient to the caregivers.

Potential Questions

To find out more about the child’s history of anxiety, the potential questions to be asked include: When did the anxiety start, what triggers the patient’s anxiety attacks, and whether there is a family member who has a weight-related health issue? These questions may give an insight into the likelihood of the child developing a weight-related health issue. The child will be at high risk of being underweight if her anxiety is chronic and in the presence of a family history of being underweight or any other somatic illness predisposing individuals to be underweight.

Strategies Employed to Encourage the Parents or Caregivers to be Proactive

Several strategies can be employed to encourage parents or caregivers to be proactive about children’s health and weight. Educating them on various weight-related health issues is a good starting point for enhancing their participation in their children’s health and weight. Engaging parents in their children’s school lives is also important in this regard. Through parental engagements, parents can help identify behaviours that may predispose their children to various weight-related health issues. Additionally, parents can work with their children’s teachers and instructors to ensure that the child’s nutritional well-being is maintained. These will ensure that the child maintains freedom from weight-related health issues.


Fekadu, W., Mihiretu, A., Craig, T. K., & Fekadu, A. (2019). Multidimensional impact of severe mental illness on family members: Systematic Review. BMJ Open9(12).

Flores-Dorantes, M. T., Díaz-López, Y. E., & Gutiérrez-Aguilar, R. (2020). Environment and genes associated with obesity and their impact on neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. Frontiers in Neuroscience14.

Koet, L. B., de Schepper, E. I., Bohnen, A. M., Bindels, P. J., & Gerger, H. (2022). Anxiety problems in children and adolescents: A population-based cohort study on incidence and management in Dutch Primary Care. British Journal of General Practice72(719).

Robinson, E., & Stensel, D. (2022). Does physical activity cause weight loss? International Journal of Obesity47(2), 91–92.

van Baak, M. A., Hul, G., Astrup, A., & Saris, W. H. (2021). Physical activity, weight loss, and weight maintenance in the Diogenes Multicenter Trial. Frontiers in Nutrition8.


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Case study

17-year-old normal-weight female high school student with anxiety who lives in a dorm with her normal-weight roommate who has depression

Assignment (3–4 pages, not including title and reference pages):

Child Health Case-17-Year-Old Female

Child Health Case-17-Year-Old Female

Assignment: Child Health Case:
Include the following:

An explanation of the health issues and risks that are relevant to the child you were assigned.

Describe additional information you would need in order to further assess his or her weight-related health.

Identify and describe any risks and consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.

Taking into account the parents’ and caregivers’ potential sensitivities, list at least three specific questions you would ask about the child to gather more information.

Provide at least two strategies you could employ to encourage the parents or caregivers to be proactive about their child’s health and weight.

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