Overall Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak in Children With Functional Abdominal Pain Disorders: Results From the First Pandemic Phase

Caterina Strisciuglio, Massimo Martinelli, Peter Lu, Michal Rozenfeld Bar Lev, Beate Beinvogl, Marc A. Benninga, Carlo Di Lorenzo, Francesca Fiori Nastro, Samuel Nurko, Haley Pearlstein, Rachel Rosen, Raanan Shamir, Annamaria Staiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess how the first phase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic influenced symptoms in children with functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs) and to characterize their quality of life (QoL), anxiety and global health. METHODS: This was a multicenter, observational, international study conducted between April and July 2020 at six different referral centers. Children diagnosed with FAPDs between October 2019 and February 2020 were enrolled and prospectively interviewed at 4 months of follow-up during the first pandemic phase (Quarantine group). Patients were asked to complete PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scale and PROMIS Anxiety and Global Health questionnaires. A cohort of children diagnosed with FAPDs between October 2018 and February 2019 was used as a Control group. RESULTS: Three-hundred-fifty-six children were enrolled of whom 180 (mean age at diagnosis: 14 ± 2.8 years) in the Quarantine group and 176 (mean age at diagnosis: 13 ± 2.8 years) in the Control group. At 4 months of follow-up, we observed a significant reduction of children reporting >5 episodes of abdominal pain per month when compared to baseline, in both groups (Quarantine group: 63.9% vs 42.2%, P < 0.001; Control group: 83.5% vs 50%, P < 0.001). The Quarantine group had median QoL values of 84.8 with 16.6% of children showing high anxiety values and 55% having decreased global health score. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated symptoms' improvement at 4 months of follow-up in both cohorts. During the first months of the COVID-19 quarantine children with FAPDs showed satisfactory QoL and anxiety scores, suggesting positive effects of school closure and increased parental attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-694
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Volume73
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

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