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Feeling Fine: Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Youth with Established IBD. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2016 Feb;22(2):402-8



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84955569005   20 Citations


BACKGROUND: Previous research is discrepant with respect to the prevalence of internalizing symptoms (i.e., depressive and anxiety symptoms) in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) samples. Moreover, few studies have examined the combined influence of demographic and disease-related risk factors for internalizing symptoms. This study described rates of depressive, anxiety, and overall internalizing symptomatology in a multisite sample of youth with established IBD diagnoses. Additionally, the study examined risk factors for elevated depressive, anxiety, and internalizing symptoms, including those in demographic (i.e., family income and sex) and disease (i.e., disease activity and functional disability) domains.

METHODS: One hundred sixty-one youth (aged 11-18 yr) with established IBD diagnoses, primarily inactive disease, prescribed oral medications, and who were not taking corticosteroids were recruited from outpatient Gastroenterology Clinics at 3 children's hospitals. This article reflects a secondary analysis of data collected from 2 larger studies examining oral medication adherence and psychosocial functioning in pediatric IBD. After providing written consent/assent, participants completed questionnaires assessing demographics, functional disability, and internalizing symptoms. Medical records were reviewed for disease information and clinical disease activity ratings.

RESULTS: Only 13% of the sample reported clinically elevated anxiety or depressive symptoms. Perceived functional disability, but not clinical disease activity, was associated with higher depressive and anxiety symptoms, and higher overall internalizing symptomatology.

CONCLUSIONS: Current results highlight the need to look beyond disease severity and examine the perception of functional disability of patients with IBD when seeking to identify youth at risk for internalizing symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

Author List

Walter JG, Kahn SA, Noe JD, Schurman JV, Miller SA, Greenley RN


Joshua D. Noe MD Associate Dean, Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Follow-Up Studies
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Quality of Life
Risk Factors
Severity of Illness Index
Surveys and Questionnaires