Psychiatric profile of children with chronic use of corticosteroids in nephrotic syndrome

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Abstract

Background

Corticosteroid (CS) therapy can cause behavioural abnormalities in children with nephrotic syndrome (NS).

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychosocial aspects of CS therapy in children with NS and to define the frequency and severity of steroid-related behavioral side effects in children.

Patients and methods

This study was conducted on patients with NS following up at the Pediatric Nephrology Outpatient Clinic, Beni Suef University Hospital. It consisted of two groups: group A consisted of 30 patients with NS who received CS and group B consisted of 30 healthy children as controls. All patients were subjected to full history taking with attention to patients’ age, sex, underlying disease, duration of CS therapy, and full clinical examination. Laboratory investigations were done in the form of urine analysis, serum albumin, and serum cholesterol levels. Psychological assessment was done using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Children Depression Inventory, and the Children’s Aggression Scales.

Results

Aggression, anxiety, and depression were significantly higher in the patient group than in the control group. Also, psychiatric disorders (aggression, depression, anxiety) were significantly higher in NS children receiving CS therapy for more than 5 years than those receiving CS therapies for less than 5 years.

Conclusion

There was a strong positive correlation between using of CS therapy for a long period and development of psychiatric disorders such as aggression, anxiety and depression.

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