Anxiety and depression among parents of children with mild head injuries.

Research paper by P P Kallianezos, X X Sinopidis, C C Petropoulos, D D Gkentzi, P P Plotas, S S Fouzas, A A Karatza, E E Jelastopulu

Indexed on: 26 Feb '21Published on: 26 Feb '21Published in: European review for medical and pharmacological sciences


Parents who escort their children in hospital may present emotional disorders. Personnel pressure and reduced time availability often prevent their detection, reducing the efficacy of parental support. We aimed to identify the prevalence and assess the severity of anxiety and depression among parents of children with mild head injuries who were admitted for a 24-hour observation period in a pediatric hospital, and to detect possible determinants for the severe forms of the two emotional disorders. A cohort of 163 parents participated in our survey for anxiety and depression with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Associations of the two disorders with factors of possible prognostic significance, such as gender, age, family status, residence, education, employment, and income were studied. Multinomial logistic regression analysis, with anxiety and depression of the parents as dependent variables, was performed. More than half of parents presented clinical scores for both disorders. Female gender, distant residence, high school level education, unstable employment, and low income were determinants for severe anxiety. Depression in fathers was five times more likely to be severe than subclinical compared to mothers. Psychological support and guidance of parents who escort their children with mild head injuries are mandatory. When accredited trauma support is not available, it is the hospital personnel who must identify and support these parents.