Depressive symptoms amongst asthmatic children’s caregivers
ABSTRACT Szabó A, Mezei G, Kővári É, Cserháti E. Depressive symptoms amongst asthmatic children’s caregivers. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010: 21: e667–e673. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/SWe wanted to find out, whether the number of depressive symptoms is higher amongst asthmatic children’s caregivers, compared to international data, to the Hungarian population average, and to parents of children with chronic renal disease. Are these depressive symptoms connected to the children’s psychological status, asthma severity or current asthma symptoms? One-hundred and eight, 7- to 17-yr-old asthmatic children were enrolled, who have been treated at the Semmelweis University, First Department of Pediatrics. Children were suffering from asthma for at least 1 yr, with a median of 8 yr (1–16 yr), they started to develop asthmatic symptoms between the age of 0.5–14 yr (median: 3 yr). We also identified 27 children with chronic renal diseases and their caregivers, who functioned as a control group. Children were asked to complete the Hungarian-validated versions of the Child Depression Inventory, the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory for Children and the Juniper Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire. Asthma severity and current symptoms were also documented, 56% had no symptoms on the preceding week. Caregivers were asked to complete the Hungarian versions of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) short form, the Spielberger Anxiety Inventory and the Juniper Pediatric Asthma Caregivers’ Quality of Life Questionnaire. Caregivers of asthmatic children had significantly more depressive symptoms (7.73 ± 6.69 s.d.) than the age-specific normal population (p < 0.01). Caregivers of renal patients also experience more depressive symptoms (9.61 ± 7.43 s.d.) than their healthy peers, but difference between the two chronic diseases’ group did not prove to be significant. Asthmatic children’s caregivers who scored more points on the BDI than the population average suffer from more anxiety symptoms, but their quality of life is not worse than the caregivers’ with less depressive points. Depressive symptoms were neither connected to the children’s psychological and asthmatic symptoms nor quality of life. Amongst caregivers of asthmatic children, at least mild depressive symptoms were represented amongst 39% of men and 33% of women. Gender difference was not significant, despite observations in the normal Hungarian population. Amongst caregivers of renal patients, depressive symptoms were represented in 14% of men and 50% of women. Gender difference was significant. (p = 0.05). Significant difference was observed between male asthmatic and renal caregivers, albeit difference was not significant between the female groups. No difference was found in depressive symptoms according to caregivers’ level of education. Caregivers of children with asthma have more depressive symptoms than the average Hungarian population, but their results do not differ from caregivers taking care of children with chronic renal diseases. Caregivers of asthmatic children having at least mild depressive symptoms tend to have higher anxiety symptoms as well. Up to date, childhood chronic disease management and long-term care should also focus on parental psychology, mainly on depression and anxiety, as prevalence is higher than in the average population.