PhD defense by Signe Heuckendorff
The Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Aalborg University Hospital are pleased to invite to PhD defense by MD, Signe Heuckendorff, who will defend the thesis entitled: Health outcomes in children of parents with mental health conditions – Morbidity and use of healthcare services in early childhood
21.01.2022 kl. 13.00 - 16.00
The PhD defense will take place
Friday 21st January 2022 at 13:00
Online via zoom: https://aaudk.zoom.us/j/65453235302
Professor Kirsten Fonager, MD, PhD
Department of Social Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University
Associate Professor Charlotte Overgaard, MSc Health, PhD
Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University
Professor Søren Paaske Johnsen, MD, PhD
Danish Center for Clinical Health Services Research (DACS), Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Aalborg University Hospital
Professor David Taylor-Robinson, MD, PhD
Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool, UK
Associate Professor Bodil Hammer Bech, MD, PhD
Department of Public Health, Aarhus University
Clinical Associate Professor Mette Line Donneborg Roed, MD, PhD (chair)
Department of Clinical Science, Aalborg University
About the PhD thesis
Mental health problems are common, and the prevalence seems to be increasing. Children of parents with mental health problems are numerous, and these children are facing higher risks of a range of adverse health outcomes than children of parents without mental health problems.
This thesis aimed to examine the association between parental mental health problems and early childhood morbidities by comparing children of parents with mental health problems to children of parents without mental health problems regarding I) risks of adverse perinatal outcomes, II) use of healthcare services during the first year of life, III) risks of asthma at preschool age and IV) risks of functional gastrointestinal disorders at school age. Four nationwide, register-based studies were performed including all children in Denmark born 2000-2016.
Study I showed that children of mothers with mental health problems had higher risks of a range of adverse perinatal outcomes. Study II found more healthcare contacts in children of parents with mental health problems. Study III found higher risks of asthma in children of parents with mental health problems; further, that children of mothers with the combination of mental health problems and disadvantaged socioeconomic position had an extra high risk of asthma. Study IV showed that children of parents with mental health problems had higher risks of functional gastrointestinal disorders compared to children of parents without mental health problems. Preventive child health examination attendance in general practice compared to no attendance was associated with higher risk of functional gastrointestinal disorder, both in the overall population and within strata of parental mental health conditions.
In all four studies, the associations were evident for both minor, moderate and severe mental health problems and strongest if the mother had mental health problems.
In conclusion, the findings of this thesis emphasised the importance of focusing on both parents’ mental health including conditions treated solely at primary care.
Department of Clinical Medicine
The auditorium, Medicinerhuset, Mølleparkvej 4, 9000 Aalborg