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Article

Depressive Anxiety Symptoms in Hospitalized Children with Chronic Illness during the First Italian COVID-19 Lockdown

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Clinical Psychology Unit, IRCCS Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, 00146 Rome, Italy
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Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy
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School of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
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Children’s Neuropsychiatric Ward, Regional Pediatric Hospital “G. Salesi”, 60123 Ancona, Italy
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Pediatric Psychology, Meyer Children’s Hospital, 50139 Florence, Italy
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Psychology Unit, IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini, 16147 Genoa, Italy
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Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico—Giovanni XXIII, 70124 Bari, Italy
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Psychology Unit, A.O. S.S. Antonio Biagio and C. Arrigo Hospital, 15121 Alessandria, Italy
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Department of Humanities, LUMSA University, 00193 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Matteo Alessio Chiappedi
Children 2022, 9(8), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9081156
Received: 30 June 2022 / Revised: 28 July 2022 / Accepted: 29 July 2022 / Published: 2 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
COVID-19 is continuing to spread around the world, having a direct impact on people’s daily lives and health. Although the knowledge of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population is now well established, there is less information on its effect on specific and vulnerable populations, such as children with chronic illness (CI). We conducted a multi-centered cross-sectional study among pediatric patients in six public children’s hospitals in Italy during the first lockdown, with the aim of assessing the proportion of children with CI presenting anxiety and depressive symptoms, and the clinical and demographic characteristics affecting such symptomatology. We included children with at least one chronic condition, with no cognitive delay, aged between 11 and 18 years. Brief standardized questionnaires were administered during medical scheduled visits to screen anxiety and depressive symptoms. We found a very high proportion of children showing mild to severe depressive and anxiety symptomatology (approximately 68% and 63%, respectively). Our results highlight the need of ensuring tailored psychological interventions to protect children with CI from the effect of the pandemic (and related restrictive measures such as quarantine and social distancing), with the final aim of promoting mental health and psychological well-being in this vulnerable population. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; lockdown; mood disorders; chronic illness; anxiety; depression; pandemic; mental health; childhood COVID-19; lockdown; mood disorders; chronic illness; anxiety; depression; pandemic; mental health; childhood
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MDPI and ACS Style

Correale, C.; Falamesca, C.; Tondo, I.; Borgi, M.; Cirulli, F.; Truglio, M.; Papa, O.; Vagnoli, L.; Arzilli, C.; Venturino, C.; Pellegrini, M.; Manfredi, V.; Sterpone, R.; Grimaldi Capitello, T.; Gentile, S.; Cappelletti, S. Depressive Anxiety Symptoms in Hospitalized Children with Chronic Illness during the First Italian COVID-19 Lockdown. Children 2022, 9, 1156. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9081156

AMA Style

Correale C, Falamesca C, Tondo I, Borgi M, Cirulli F, Truglio M, Papa O, Vagnoli L, Arzilli C, Venturino C, Pellegrini M, Manfredi V, Sterpone R, Grimaldi Capitello T, Gentile S, Cappelletti S. Depressive Anxiety Symptoms in Hospitalized Children with Chronic Illness during the First Italian COVID-19 Lockdown. Children. 2022; 9(8):1156. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9081156

Chicago/Turabian Style

Correale, Cinzia, Chiara Falamesca, Ilaria Tondo, Marta Borgi, Francesca Cirulli, Mauro Truglio, Oriana Papa, Laura Vagnoli, Cinzia Arzilli, Cristina Venturino, Michele Pellegrini, Valentina Manfredi, Rossella Sterpone, Teresa Grimaldi Capitello, Simonetta Gentile, and Simona Cappelletti. 2022. "Depressive Anxiety Symptoms in Hospitalized Children with Chronic Illness during the First Italian COVID-19 Lockdown" Children 9, no. 8: 1156. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9081156

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