Cognitive and Developmental Assessment

Several studies have documented a link between end-stage organ illnesses and cognitive impairment, suggesting that cognitive functioning should be evaluated as a key outcome measure in determining the impact of surgical interventions (Gerson et al. 2006; Tarter et al. 1990). Additional studies have demonstrated a correlation between impaired cognitive abilities in adolescent renal transplant recipients and decreased adherence to complex posttransplant treatment regimens (Feinstein et al. 2005). Impairments in cognitive skills have been described as particularly hazardous in adolescents with chronic illnesses, because their difficulties foreseeing future consequences of their actions place them at greater risk for unsafe behaviors, including nonadherence with medical treatments (Rianthavorn et al. 2004).

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