Anxiety and depression in paediatric patients with painful somatic complaints

The aim of this study was to examine the level and different aspects of anxiety and depression in children and youth with recurrent painful somatic complaints and (1) compare them to the norm values of a general population sample, (2) compare the patients with single complaints to patients with multiform somatic complaints and (3) to examine the proportion of clinically significant anxiety and depressive patients. The Fear and Anxiety Scale SKAD-62 and The Depression Scale SDD were applied to 160 children, ages 10 to 17, who were referred by paediatric specialists for psychology assessment under hospital or ambulatory treatment: 56 with headaches, 24 stomach pain sufferers, 40 chest pain sufferer and 39 children with multiple somatic complaints. The results showed that all patients had similar global levels of anxiety and depression as compared to the norm values. Clinically significant anxiety was observed in 22% patients and clinically significant depression in 4% patients. Most anxiety in patients was found in the chest pain group (35%) and less in those with headache (8.6%). Children with multiform complaints are as anxious as single complaint sufferers. A difference was found between clinical samples in different aspects of anxiety symptoms: those with headache were separation anxious, abdominal and chest pain sufferers were more anxiety sensitive, multiform complainers were more worried.

Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 55, No 1, january - march 2011
Authors: D. Baraban, A. Kurtović, V. Zelić, V. Križanić, M. Buljubašić
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