The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
KK conceptualized and carried out the study and drafted the manuscript. GG conceptualized and prepared the manuscript. SDi and SDo participated in the study design and patient screening and enrollment. SC and CB participated in the study design and drafted the manuscript. GK conceptualized and coordinated the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
To assess psychosocial functioning and distress of children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis compared to healthy controls.
Thirty-six patients with cystic fibrosis aged 8–18 years (24 boys, mean age ± SD: 11.5 ± 2.6 years) and 31 sex- and age-matched healthy control subjects (18 boys, mean age ± SD: 12 ± 2.5 years) were enrolled in the study. In order to assess the self-esteem, social adjustment, and family functioning of these young people, the Culture-free Self-esteem Inventory, the Social Adjustment Scale–Self-Report, and the Family Assessment Device were administered. Emotional/ behavioral problems were assessed through the Youth Self Report and the Child Behavior Checklist given to both the subjects and their parents.
No significant differences were found for self-esteem between the two study groups. Regarding social adjustment, children with cystic fibrosis reported significantly worse friendship and overall adjustment (P < 0.05). Moreover, no difference was found in the levels of family functioning between the two groups. No significant differences between the groups were found in emotional/ behavioral problems from the self-reports. On the contrary, parents of children with cystic fibrosis reported significantly higher levels of withdrawal/ depression, thought problems, and delinquent behavior (P ≤ 0.01) as compared to controls.
Children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis appear to be a psychosocially vulnerable group. A biopsychosocial approach should emphasize the assessment and treatment of the psychosocial distress of these patients alongside multiple somatic treatments.
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