Characterization and treatment response of anxious children with asthma

Can J Psychiatry. 2006 May;51(6):393-6. doi: 10.1177/070674370605100610.


Objectives: To compare children with Axis I anxiety disorders and asthma with a matched group of anxious children without asthma on questionnaire measures and response to cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) for anxiety.

Method: A sample of 36 children with comorbid anxiety and asthma, aged 8 to 12 years, were matched for age, sex, and specific anxiety disorder with 36 children with an Axis I anxiety disorder but no asthma. Parents and children completed standardized questionnaires.

Results: Children with comorbid anxiety and asthma had significantly more perinatal complications (P = 0.001), and higher total (P = 0.000) and psychological stressors (P = 0.02), especially parent-child problems (P = 0.01), but lower levels of depression (P = 0.03) and anxiety (P = 0.05), compared with anxious, nonasthmatic children. All children reported decreased anxiety (P = 0.001) and depression (P = 0.000) posttreatment, with a trend toward less improvement in anxiety in anxious children with asthma.

Conclusions: Although replication is needed, addressing psychosocial stress and parent-child problems may increase CBT efficacy in children with comorbid anxiety and asthma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Education
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Psychotherapy, Group
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Treatment Outcome