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Psychologic Distress and Anxiety in Mothers of Children With Gastroesophageal Reflux Undergoing Antireflux Surgery

Kvello, Morten*,†; Åvitsland, Tone Lise; Knatten, Charlotte K.§; Fyhn, Thomas J.*; Malt, Ulrik*; Emblem, Ragnhild*,†; Bjørnland, Kristin*,†

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: June 2019 - Volume 68 - Issue 6 - p 818–823
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002286
Original Articles: Gastroenterology
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Objectives: Parents of children with a chronic illness are at risk for impaired psychosocial functioning. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is such a disease, and no studies have investigated effects of antireflux surgery on parental psychological distress. The aims of this study were to assess psychological distress and state and trait anxiety in mothers of children with GERD, and to explore possible changes after antireflux surgery.

Methods: Mothers of children referred for antireflux surgery were included in this prospective study. Standardized questionnaires were used to evaluate psychological distress and state and trait anxiety before and 12 months after antireflux surgery.

Results: Of 87 eligible mothers of children with GERD, 62 (71%) agreed to participate. All children had objectively verified GERD by 24-hour pH-monitoring and/or upper gastrointestinal contrast study and unsatisfactory symptom relief of pharmacological treatment. Thirty-one (50%) mothers returned questionnaires postoperatively. Preoperatively, mothers of children undergoing antireflux surgery reported high levels of psychological distress and state anxiety, and 54% had scores indicating clinically significant psychological distress. None of the preoperative child characteristics were found to significantly influence maternal psychological distress or state anxiety. Twelve months postoperatively, both psychological distress and state anxiety were reduced.

Conclusions: Mothers of children undergoing antireflux surgery reported reduced levels of psychological distress and state anxiety 12 months after the operation.

*Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo

Department of Gastrointestinal and Pediatric Surgery

Department of Internal Medicine

§Department of Pediatrics, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Morten Kvello, MD, Department of Gastrointestinal and Pediatric Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Postboks 4950 Nydalen, 0424 Oslo, Norway (e-mail: m.kvello@gmail.com).

Received 6 October, 2018

Accepted 5 January, 2019

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jpgn.org).

Trial identification: www.clinicaltrial.gov, NCT01551134.

M.K. has received financial support from the University of Oslo.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,