Anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with sickle cell disease

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2007 Apr;9(2):114-21. doi: 10.1007/s11920-007-0080-0.


A growing body of evidence suggests that depressive disorders and anxiety disorders are much more prevalent among medically ill children and adolescents when compared with the general population, and that the presence of comorbidity may adversely affect medical outcomes and quality of life. Whereas the prevalence and impact of anxiety and depressive disorders have been described in chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy, much less is known about sickle cell disease (SCD), a disorder that affects more than 70,000 Americans, primarily those of African and Mediterranean descent. A hallmark of this disorder is recurrent, acute, and chronic pain that often requires emergency management and hospitalization. Medical advances in the treatment of this illness have transformed SCD from a condition associated with very early morbidity and mortality into a chronic condition of adulthood. This article reviews the evidence describing our knowledge of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with SCD, its clinical impact, and effectiveness of interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / epidemiology
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / psychology*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pain / psychology
  • Sick Role