Psychological factors in childhood asthma

Authors


Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study is to evaluate psychological aspects of childhood asthma and the connections between the illness and behavioral disturbances in asthmatic children.

Study design

We selected a group of 47 asthmatic children and a control group of 47 healthy children. The only criterion for inclusion was that the children be between 4 and 10 years of age; criteria for exclusion were neurological pathologies, cognitive retardation, and serious or chronic systemic disease. The collaboration of a psychologist and a comparative examination of questionnaires used in medical literature helped us prepare a calibrated questionnaire for our study.

Results

In our study, the asthmatic children show significantly more behavioral and psychological disturbances than the children in the control group.

Conclusions

Within the group of asthmatic children the boys and the children whose illness has lasted less than 4 years, are at greater risk of such disturbances; stressful situations connected to the birth or previous pregnancies can be seen more often in the group of asthmatic children than in the control group; before the onset of the illness the asthmatic children had significant sleep disturbances. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008; 43:366–370. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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