Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: To explore health anxiety in children with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) using a symbolic play assessment. METHODS: Children with RAP and two control groups (with asthma and well children) were recruited. Eighty-four families completed play and questionnaire assessments of health anxiety and psychological functioning. RESULTS: Children with RAP demonstrated less use of psychological descriptions for feelings than control children, and were more likely to represent serious outcomes to health scenarios than well children, but not children with asthma. Mothers of children with RAP had higher levels of health anxiety, and rated their children as having more physical symptoms and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: The symbolic play paradigm provided discriminating insights into health anxiety in children. The findings suggest that childhood RAP may be associated with higher levels of parental health anxiety. These aspects of family functioning might usefully be explored in families where a child has RAP.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/jpepsy/jsq095

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Pediatr Psychol

Publication Date

05/2011

Volume

36

Pages

409 - 419

Keywords

Abdominal Pain, Anxiety, Attitude to Health, Case-Control Studies, Child, Family, Female, Humans, Male, Play and Playthings, Recurrence, Stress, Psychological, Surveys and Questionnaires