Anxiety and depression in adolescents with asthma and in their parents: a study in clinical practice
Emotional disorders, namely anxiety and depression, frequently affect adolescents with asthma. In addition, their parents also may present emotional problems. The objective of this study was to investigate anxiety and depression in asthmatic adolescents and in their parents in a real-life setting. A series of adolescents with allergic asthma were consecutively enrolled. Asthma was diagnosed according to the GINA document and consistently the symptom control grade was assessed. We used the HADS questionnaire for the adolescents, and HADS, STAY, and BDI questionnaires for their parents. Globally, 121 adolescents (71 males, 50 females, mean age 13.4±0.8 years, age ranging between 12 and 15 years) with allergic asthma and their parents were evaluated. Only 29% of adolescents had controlled asthma. Adolescents with controlled asthma had lower HADS-A and HADS-D scores than other patients, whereas there was no difference among parents. Severe maternal anxiety was more frequent in poorly controlled subjects than in partially controlled ones; absence of maternal anxiety was more common in controlled subjects. The preliminary results of the current study suggest that anxiety and depression are common in adolescents suffering from asthma as well as in their parents, mainly in mothers. Emotional disorders might affect also the asthma control. Thus, in clinical practice, the psychological assessment could be included in the asthma work-up.
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