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Asthma Control in Children and Adolescents whose Mothers have a Common Mental Disorder

Abstract

Caring for a child with asthma may cause psychological stress that can go unnoticed in routine clinical follow-up. This, in turn, may interfere with the care and control of the disease in the child. This study aims to evaluate if there is an association between minor maternal mental disorders (so-called common mental disorders – CMD) and uncontrolled asthma in children and adolescents, addressing possible moderating effect of maternal social support and exposure to stressful events. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 362 dyads of mothers and children with medical diagnosis of asthma in two outpatient pediatric pulmonology clinics. The association between maternal CMD and uncontrolled asthma was estimated by using the Poisson regression, addressing whether there were significant moderation effects of social support and exposure to stressors in this association. Uncontrolled asthma was positively associated with the presence of maternal CMD (aPR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.15–1.75). Maternal exposure to serious illness and the lack of support from relatives also had negative effects on asthma control in a multivariate model. In addition, the association of maternal CMD and uncontrolled asthma in the child was moderated by the lack of support from relatives (aPR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.28–1.94) and the exposure to physical aggression (aPR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.09–2.11). Findings support that even minor maternal mental disorders are associated with uncontrolled asthma in the child. In addition, the lack of support from relatives may act as a booster for the impact of poor maternal mental health on uncontrolled asthma in the child.

Highlights

  • Common mental disorders (CMD) includes depression, anxiety and somatoform disorders that contribute significantly to disease burden in primary care.

  • Both uncontrolled asthma and maternal CMD were highly prevalent in a Brazilian sample of mother and child dyads.

  • Maternal CMD, report of serious illness and lack of support from relatives were associated with uncontrolled asthma in the child.

  • The association between maternal CMD and child’s uncontrolled asthma was moderated by the lack of support from relatives and maternal report of physical aggression.

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Costa, A.D.P.V., Santos, L.M., Medeiros, M.L. et al. Asthma Control in Children and Adolescents whose Mothers have a Common Mental Disorder. J Child Fam Stud (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-021-02128-6

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Keywords

  • Mental health
  • Chronic disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Child
  • Maternal and child health