Background Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a heterogeneous group of diseases characterised by arthritis of unknown origin with onset before age of 16 years. Among the diseases of JIA the category oligoarthritis is seen only in children, arising more often in girls than in boys; it has early onset (before 6 years of age) and it is characterised by asymmetric arthritis that affects mainly large joints. Patients may have high concentrations of positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and a high risk of developing chronic iridocyclitis. The chronicity of this illness can affected seriously psychological aspects of these young patients
Objectives To compare the perception of psychological discomfort of anxiety and depression among the young patients and their parents.
Methods 24 children (4 M/20 F: age range 6-16 years old; mean age 11, 5 years old; JIA diagnosed from 1 to maximum 14 years with mean duration 5,2 years) underwent the TAD anxiety and depression psychological test in chidren and teenagers (TAD test by PhillIs l. Newcomer, Edna M. Barenbaum e Brian R. Bryant) together with one parent double blinded; this 3 scale validated test evaluates the presence and the degree of anxiety and depression also in the caregiver; the results, converted into percentiles, are negative either above the 90th percentile or below the 5th percentile.
Results 95,85% (23 out of 24) of the chidren/teenagers denied anxiety/depression eventhough the test scored below the 5th percentile in 25% of the cases (mean age 14,17 years old).
16,67% of the parents (4 out of 24) were concerned about anxiety in their sons eventhough only one of the 4 children admitted it (illness 100% active with mean duration 4 years).
12,5% of the parents (3 out of 24) were concerned about depression in their sons eventhough only one of the 3 children admitted it (illness 75% active with mean duration 3,34 years).
8,3% of the parents scored below the 5th percentile.
There was no significant differerence in children/teenagers affected or not by ocular involvement.
Conclusions TAD test results in our young population deny the presence either of anxiety or of depression; however these results could be biased due to the false answers in order not to undergo futher investigations or not to worry the parents; in the parent group the test undelines the low level of perception of psychological discomfort in their children with the exception of the children with the newest diagnosis (difficulty of acceptence of a chronic illness?).
The grade of activity ot the illness at the moment of the test is the major factor in the perception of psychological discomfort in the parent group.
JIA treatment should involve a mulidisciplinary team of caregivers (rheumatologists, pediatricians, phychologysts) in order to cure also the multifaceded psychological aspects of the illness and not least its acceptance by the young patient and by the family.
Disclosure of Interest None declared