Dr Laura Mackner and Dr Wallace Crandall from Ohio analyzed the self-reported psychosocial functioning of children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
| A subset of 20% of children with IBD report emotional symptoms, even a year after diagnosis|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The research team compared the results to that of healthy children.
The researchers analyzed behavioral or emotional functioning, social competence, self-esteem, stress coping strategies, and social support.
The team included 50 children with IBD diagnosed at least 1 year before enrollment, and 42 healthy comparison children aged 11 to 17 years.
The researchers reported that the participants completed a series of well-validated questionnaires assessing psychosocial functioning.
The treating gastroenterologists of participating children with IBD completed the Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index during a clinic visit within a week of completion of the questionnaires.
The researchers observed that the mean scores fell in the normal range on all normed measures.
There were no significant differences between group means on any of the measures.
The team noted a subset of 20% of children with IBD reported clinically significant behavioural or emotional symptoms, even a year after diagnosis.
The researcher's findings for the subset group was similar to results found in the healthy comparison group.
The research team found that most children with IBD were in remission or had mild disease activity at the time of the study.
In addition, the team noted that neither past nor current disease factors differentiated those with significant emotional problems.
Dr Mackner and colleague concludes, “These results suggest that most children with currently mild IBD who have been diagnosed for at least a year report normal psychosocial functioning that is similar to that of healthy children.”
“A subset of these children report significant behavioral/emotional difficulty”
“Future research should seek to identify which children are most at risk for these problems and how best to intervene.”