Psychosocial aspects of nephrotic syndrome among children and their caregivers

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Nephrotic syndrome in children has biological, behavioral, and social manifestations that have implications on the mental health, social and personality development of the child, and family coping.


This study was carried out to detect the psychosocial impact of nephrotic syndrome on children suffering from this disorder and their caregivers.

Patients and methods

Forty patients with nephrotic syndrome were recruited from the inpatient and outpatient nephrology clinics of new children hospital, Cairo University. In addition, 40 healthy participants matching in age and sex were also included as a control group. Both groups were subjected to different psychometric tests. The patients were subjected to the Stanford–Binet test, the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist, the Child Depression Inventory, and the anxiety scale for children. The mothers of the children were subjected to the Quality of Life Scale, a social score to calculate social standards of families, and the Social Readjustment Rating Scale.


The results showed that there was a statistically significant difference between children with nephrotic syndrome and controls as regards the mean intelligence quotient. There was a highly statistically significant difference between both groups as regards the mean psychometric scores on the Child Depression Inventory. There was no statistically significant difference as regards the means anxiety score. Among nephrotic syndrome patients, 47.5% had moderate anxiety, 37.5% had severe anxiety, and 15% had mild anxiety. According to Child Behavior Checklist, among nephrotic syndrome patients, the mean score was higher on the internalizing subscale (anxiety, depression, and withdrawal) compared with the externalizing subscale (aggressiveness and delinquency). Moreover, the mean score on the internalizing problems subscale was higher among patients nephrotic syndrome compared with controls. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups as regards withdrawal, anxiety/depression, and thought and attention problems. There was a highly statistically significant difference between the two groups as regards quality of life.


Nephrotic syndrome in children has a significant impact on intellectual functions and behavioral aspects, including anxiety and depression. Parents of children with nephrotic syndrome are more likely to develop psychosocial problems, have less social adjustment, and have a poorer quality of life compared with parents of healthy children.

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