Parent–adolescent agreement on psychosocial symptoms and somatic complaints among adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease

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To investigate parent–adolescent agreement on psychosocial and somatic symptoms in adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


A questionnaire-based postal survey comprising Finnish adolescents aged 10–18 years with IBD (n = 156) and their parents. Emotional, behavioural and somatic symptoms were measured using the Child Behaviour Checklist (parent report) and the Youth Self-Report.


In paediatric IBD, adolescents and parents agreed on the presence of a psychosocial problem (in subclinical/clinical range) in 5% of the cases but disagreed in 21%. In 74% of the dyads, respondents agreed that no problems existed. Agreement in reporting psychosocial or somatic symptoms was poor to low (κ = 0.00–0.38). The lowest agreement was on anxious/depressed mood (κ = 0.02) and thought problems (κ = 0.00) and the highest on social problems. The parents reported more somatic symptoms in their adolescents than the adolescents themselves (p < 0.001).


Young IBD patients and their parents disagree in reporting psychosocial and somatic symptoms of the patients. The adolescents as well as their parents need to be involved; otherwise, many symptoms of clinical significance would go unnoticed.

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