Anxiety in children/youth with bowel and bladder dysfunction and their parents: Impact of medical, educational, and psychosocial factors

Leslie Cristen LaVergne


Children and youth with special health care needs are impacted both physically and psychologically by their medical condition. Furthermore, parents of children with special health care needs experience increased symptoms of anxiety related to their child's condition. Literature suggests the negative impact may be lessened by providing psychosocial family-centered supports. This study investigated the anxiety levels of children with bowel and/or bladder dysfunction and their parents, finding the relationships of anxiety among mothers and child/youth, as well as mothers and fathers. No significant relationship was found among fathers and child/youth. Further, it explored the impact of medical, educational, and psychosocial factors t of proximity to specialized medical care, presence of a medical home, income, school absences, formal educational planning, professional support, and non-professional support as potential predictors of child/youth and parental anxiety. Results indicated income, school absences, and gender of parents had a significant impact on the anxiety scores of the parents, but not significant to the child's anxiety scores. Non-professional support was found to be potential factor in relation to parent anxiety.