Document Type : Research Article
Background: Anxiety disorders are one of the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adolescents (1). Mental health problems are likely to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among adolescent populations (2). Those adolescents who suffer from anxiety disorders have impairment related to social, family, and educational aspects of functioning. Despite the prevalence of anxiety disorders, recognizing mental health issues such as anxiety as the underlying cause could be a challenge (1). The objective of the study is to screen for anxiety disorders among adolescent inpatients and respective parents, so that early intervention could be done.
Methods: We have screened a sample of 60 adolescents-parents sets among inpatients of Cheluvamba hospital for the current study by using SCARED P and SCARED C questionnaire formats which is a validated questionnaire as per standard AAP recommendation during the months of march-December 2020. Additional demographic and clinical data were collected accordingly. The statistical methods used for analysis are chi square and Fisher exact test.
Results: The standard questionnaire screening identified probable anxiety disorder in 21.7 percent of adolescents(p=0.00) out of which 33.3% were above 16 years of age, although the mean SCARED P and mean SCARED C scores were 19.26 which is clinically not significant. Among adolescents who screened positive, 34.3% were females and this was statistically significant. As per the results of the study other demographic data such as socioeconomic status, pre psychiatric illness, suicidal attempts were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: This study suggests that anxiety disorders are prevalent among adolescent inpatients. They are less recognized and thus are undertreated. Pediatricians should also concentrate on mental health aspects along with physical ailments specially during covid times. More studies and awareness are required in this set of population to encourage screening and early recognition and thus seeking early mental health services to avoid significant mortality and morbidity associated with these conditions.