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Pearl Toh, 07 Aug 2018
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Adolescents with chronic liver disease have higher rates of anxiety and depression

Roshini Claire Anthony
03 Jun 2016

Young people who have undergone liver transplant (LT), or have autoimmune liver disease (AILD), or other chronic liver diseases have higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general adolescent population, according to a study presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) 2016 held in Athens, Greece.

To assess the prevalence of anxiety and depression in young people with LT, AILD, or chronic liver disease, 232 young people attending a liver transition clinic were given an electronically-administered questionnaire, 187 of whom participated in this study. [ESPGHAN 2016, abstract H-O-007]

Almost 18 percent of young people (mean age 18 years) attending the clinic reported having anxiety and depression, with 9.7 percent reporting probable major depressive disorder (MDD), and 2.2 percent having suicidal ideation. About 14 percent had probable anxiety disorder, with 5.4 percent having severe anxiety symptoms.

“These [findings] are higher than the estimated prevalence rates of anxiety or depression in the general adolescent population [about 6 percent],” said the study authors.

The most common reasons cited for distress were fatigue (42.3 percent), money problems (30.8 percent), worry (30.2 percent), problems at work or school (29.1 percent), low self-esteem (27.5 percent), and sleep difficulties (27.5 percent).

Items on the questionnaire pertained to concern and understanding of illness, impact of illness on life (consequences), how long the participants expected to have the illness (timeline), symptoms experienced (identity), and emotional effects of illness (emotional response). Participants were also asked if they thought treatment could help them with their condition (treatment control), and the amount of control they thought they had over their illness (personal control).

Elevated levels of depression and anxiety were significantly associated with higher perceived illness consequences, identity, concern, emotional response, and reduced perceptions of personal control, while there was no association between depression or anxiety and understanding of illness or treatment control.

The authors advocated for routine holistic care which included mental health screening and interventions for illness beliefs for this age group. 
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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 07 Aug 2018
A home-based, self-applied wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) patch facilitates diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AF) among high-risk individuals, according to the mSToPS* trial.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 2 days ago

A genotype-guided approach to warfarin dosing may result in fewer dose adjustments in Asian patients, according to a study from Singapore.

4 days ago

Fungal microbiome, also called the mycobiome, appears to be highly variable in patients with well-characterized fungal diseases, a recent study has shown. Moreover, severe asthmatics have the highest fungal loads, along with those receiving steroid and antifungal therapy.

Audrey Abella, 07 Aug 2018
The use of the investigational first-in-class attachment inhibitor fostemsavir led to improved baseline viral and CD4+ T-cell counts in patients with HIV-1 infection who had limited treatment options and were failing their current antiretroviral regimen, according to the subgroup analysis results of the BRIGHTE* study presented at AIDS 2018.