Primary Article

Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents With Sickle Cell Disease

Authors: MANUEL L. CEPEDA MD, YIH-MING YANG MD, CLINTON C. PRICE MD, ARVIND SHAH PhD

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This study compares the rate of mental disorders in children and adolescents with sickle cell disease with the rate in a corresponding control population. Using the clinical interview, a diagnosis based on DSM-III-R criteria for the presence of 13 mental disorders common to childhood was considered in a sequential sample of 39 subjects with sickle cell disease and a convenience sample of 26 same-race control subjects. Thirty-one percent of the sickle cell group and 42% of the control group screened positive for one or more of the selected mental disorders. The difference was not significant. When subgroups of mental disorders were considered (anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, psychotic disorders, and other selected disorders), the differences were still not significant. This study suggests that children and adolescents with sickle cell disease do not have a greater risk for clinically significant mental disorders than same-race outpatient clinic controls. This study supports other reports in the medical literature that suggest that children attending outpatient medical clinics are at a higher risk for mental disorder than is seen in epidemiologic studies of nonmedical populations.

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