A Comparison of Mental Health Problems among Children with Alopecia Areata or Atopic Dermatitis and Their Parents

TitleA Comparison of Mental Health Problems among Children with Alopecia Areata or Atopic Dermatitis and Their Parents
Publication TypeJournal Papers
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKarambetsos, C, Kouskoukis, C, Giannakopoulos, G, Agapidaki, E, Mihas, C, Katsarou, A, Miridakis, C, Vatakis, A, Kolaitis, G
JournalBritish Journal of Medicine & Medical Research
Start Page162-172
Date Published2013

Aims: There is an increased interest in the psychosocial impact of pediatric skin diseases on children and their families. The present study tried to examine possible differences regarding mental health problems among children with alopecia areata (AA) or atopic dermatitis (AD), and their parents. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: Department of Dermatology, “Penteli” Children’s Hospital and Department of Dermatology, Athens University Medical School, “Andreas Syggros” Hospital, Athens, Greece, between February 2004 and February 2009. Methodology: Parents of 51 pediatric outpatients (54.9% boys) with a diagnosis of either AD or AA (mean age = 8.0 ± 1.8 years) and a control group of 12 children and their parents completed the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Differences among AA, AD, and the control group were examined. Results: Both AA and AD groups had significantly (P < .001) higher mean values across several CBCL scales compared to healthy controls. However, the controls seemed to exhibit less mental health symptoms than the normative Greek samples, a finding reducing the value of the control group. Children’s Anxious/Depressed, Withdrawn, Somatic complaints and Social problems had significantly higher mean values in the AA group compared to the AD group. Parental mental health symptoms did not differ significantly between the two disease groups, but they were significantly higher in patient groups compared to control group. Conclusion: Children’s and parents’ mental health symptoms may be important targets of thorough assessment and treatment among pediatric AD and AA populations.

Citation KeyKarambetsos2013