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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2010 Jan;16(1):27-35. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21002.

Psychosocial symptoms and competence among adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease and their peers.

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  • 1Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.



The aim was to evaluate psychosocial symptoms and competence as reported by the parents and the adolescents themselves among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in relation to population-based controls.


Standardized Achenbach questionnaires-Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for the parents and Youth Self-Report (YSR) for the adolescents-were sent to Finnish families of adolescents with IBD (age 10-18 years), and their controls matched for age, gender, and place of residence. The final study group comprised 160 adolescents with IBD and 236 controls with their parents, respectively.


According to parent reports, adolescents with IBD had more symptoms of anxious/depressed mood (P < 0.001), withdrawn/depressed mood (P < 0.05), social problems (P < 0.05), thought problems (P < 0.001), somatic complaints (P < 0.001), and lower competence (P < 0.05) than population-based controls. Unexpectedly, there was no group difference in the amount of self-reported psychosocial symptoms, somatic complaints, or competence between adolescents with IBD and their peers. However, adolescents with severe IBD reported significantly more emotional problems (P < 0.001) than those with mild symptoms or controls.


According to parents, adolescents with IBD have more emotional problems, social problems, thought problems, and lower competence than their population-based peers. Self-perceived severity of the IBD symptoms is associated with a larger amount of parent and self-reported emotional symptoms. Complementary methods should be used while assessing the psychosocial well-being of adolescents with IBD as questionnaires alone may be insufficient.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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