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High prevalence of depression amongst mothers of children with asthma

J Asthma. 2009 May;46(4):388-91 Leão LL, Zhang L, Sousa PL, Mendoza-Sassi R, Chadha R, Lovatel R, Lincho CS, Leal RD, Sinzkel E, Nicoletti D, Martiello J. Postgraduate Program on Health and Behavior, Catholic University of Pelotas, Brazil.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence of depression among mothers of children with asthma and mothers of children without asthma and to investigate the influence of severity and duration of childhood asthma on maternal depression.

METHOD: A cross-sectional study including 80 mothers of children with asthma and 160 mothers of children without asthma who attended the pediatric outpatient clinics of a teaching hospital in Southern Brazil. The main outcome measure was the presence of depression in these mothers, measured by the Beck Depression Inventory.

RESULTS: The prevalence of depression was higher among mothers of asthmatic children compared with mothers of non-asthmatic children (43.8% vs. 17.5%, p < 0.001), with an adjusted prevalence ratio of 2.74 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.76-4.25). Mothers of children with persistent asthma had a higher prevalence of depression than mothers of children with intermittent asthma (62.8% vs. 21.6%, p < 0.001), with an adjusted prevalence ratio of 2.77 (95% CI: 1.46-5.27). No significant association was observed between duration of childhood asthma and maternal depression.

CONCLUSION: Mothers of children with asthma have a higher prevalence of depression than mothers of children without asthma. The severity but not duration of childhood asthma is associated with maternal depression.

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