Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Anxious and Depressive Symptoms in Caregivers of Children With Asthma

J Pediatr Psychol. 2015 Aug;40(7):623-32. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsv012. Epub 2015 Mar 30.


Objective: To provide a review of the literature comparing anxious and depressive symptoms in caregivers of children with asthma with caregivers of healthy children.

Method: A systematic search identified 25 studies from 17 articles, reporting outcomes on 4,300 caregivers of children with asthma and 25,064 caregivers of healthy children.

Results: Overall, anxious (d = 0.50) and depressive symptoms (d = 0.44) were higher in caregivers of children with asthma compared with caregivers of healthy children. Age, site of recruitment, and whether the asthma diagnosis was medically confirmed were included as potential moderators. The relationship between parental psychopathology and asthma was stronger in those with medically confirmed asthma and participants recruited from clinical settings. Other moderators were not significant.

Conclusions: Caregivers of children with asthma appear to have greater anxious and depressive symptoms than caregivers of healthy children, but the reasons are unclear. More research that investigates modifiable factors that may moderate this association is urgently needed.

Keywords: anxiety; asthma; children; depression; meta-analysis; motherhood.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Asthma / nursing*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Child
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Parents / psychology*