Internalizing symptoms and functional disability in children with noncardiac chest pain and innocent heart murmurs
Lee, Jennifer Lynn
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Objective: To examine the occurrence of internalizing symptoms and functional disability in children with noncardiac chest pain (NCCP) compared to children with innocent heart murmurs (IHM). Method: Sixty-seven children with NCCP and sixty-two children with IHM were recruited from the pediatric cardiologist’s office. Children and parents completed measures of psychological functioning and functional disability during a first visit to the cardiologist, and prior to diagnosis. Results: Children with NCCP reported greater levels of internalizing symptoms than children with IHM. Parents of children with NCCP and IHM reported similar levels of anxiety and depression for their children. Children with NCCP and their parents reported greater levels of functional disability than children with IHM and their parents. Conclusion: Children with NCCP experience greater levels of psychosocial distress and impairment than a similarly healthy sample of children with IHM. Consideration of psychosocial influences on NCCP would likely be beneficial for assessment and treatment.