- The relationship between specific anxiety syndromes and somatic symptoms in adolescents with asthma and other chronic diseases
- Journal of Asthma
- Volume | Issue number
- 42 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The impact of a chronic disease on the emotional well-being of children and adolescents is controversial in the literature. This study tested the hypotheses that 1) a specific approach is required to assess emotional deviations in adolescents with chronic diseases and 2) specific anxiety symptoms are predictive of excessive somatic symptoms. Methods: Emotional and somatic symptoms were measured in four groups, selected from a community sample of 897 adolescents: 32 with asthma, 20 with other severe chronic diseases, 30 with median scores (the true comparison group), and 29 with minimal scores on common measures of trait anxiety and depression. Results: The asthma and chronic disease groups scored not significantly higher than the true comparison group on trait anxiety, depression, negative affectivity, five anxiety syndromes, anxiety-related physical, and miscellaneous somatic symptoms. The asthma and chronic disease groups scored only higher than the true comparison group on panic attacks and respiration symptoms. Regression analyses showed that severity of asthma was no significant factor, and the minimal group scored consistently lower than the other groups, except on physical injury fears. There were no group differences in positive affect. Girls scored higher than boys on specific anxiety syndromes (except on obsessive-compulsive disorder) and also on respiration symptoms. Conclusion: Adolescents with severe chronic diseases deviated from a true comparison control group on panic attacks, but not on other negative and positive emotions.
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