Psychological Functioning in Youth With Spina Bifida Living in Colombia, South America

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Objective No studies have examined psychological functioning among youth with spina bifida (SB) living in a developing country where access to mental health resources is often scarce. This study compared self-reported psychological functioning between youth with SB living in Colombia, South America, and a demographically matched comparison group of healthy Colombian children. Methods 22 children with SB and 22 comparison children completed assessments of depression and anxiety. Most (68.81%) participants were male, and the sample had a mean age of 13.25 years (SD = 2.65 years). Results Results revealed that children with SB reported greater total symptoms of depression (p < .05), but fewer worry-related symptoms of anxiety (p < .05). In addition, mean total scores for both depression and anxiety were in the nonclinical range for youth with SB. Conclusions These findings highlight the need for targeted mental health (i.e., depression) services for poor children with SB living in Colombia.

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