Favourable short-term course and outcome of pediatric anxiety spectrum disorders: A prospective study from India

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Background: Although anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents, there is a paucity of research on the course and outcome of anxiety spectrum disorders in low and middle-income countries. Methods: 60 children and adolescents aged 6-16 years with anxiety spectrum disorders attending the child and adolescent psychiatry department in a tertiary care center from India were included after taking written informed consent and assent in this prospective study conducted between April 2012 to May 2014. Assessments were done at baseline, 12 weeks and 24 weeks using pediatric anxiety rating scale, clinical global impression-severity, clinical global assessment scale and pediatric quality of life scale; MINI-KID (version 6.0) was used to examine remission status. Results: Mean age of children was 12.68 years and mean duration of illness was 34.52 months. Follow-up rate at 24 weeks was 80% with a remission rate of 64.6%. Socio-demographic factors did not affect the baseline severity or course and outcome measures. Children with greater baseline severity and social phobia had a less favorable outcome at 24 weeks. Improvements made in the initial 12 weeks were maintained at 24 weeks follow up. These findings are in line with earlier studies from high-income countries. Limitations: Small sample size, attrition, rater bias. Conclusion: The study has shown a favorable outcome in children and adolescents with anxiety spectrum disorders receiving treatment-as-usual in a tertiary care setting. Adolescents who present with greater severity, comorbid with other anxiety disorders and depression at baseline require intensive intervention, and long-term follow up. There is a need for interventional research with specific focus on universal preventive programs for anxiety spectrum disorders that are feasible for delivery in low and middle-income countries.




Kandasamy, P., Girimaji, S. C., Seshadri, S. P., Srinath, S., & Kommu, J. V. S. (2019). Favourable short-term course and outcome of pediatric anxiety spectrum disorders: A prospective study from India. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13034-019-0272-5

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