Epidemiology and impact of health care provider-diagnosed anxiety and depression among US children

Rebecca H. Bitsko*, Joseph R. Holbrook, Reem M. Ghandour, Stephen J. Blumberg, Susanna N. Visser, Ruth Perou, John Timothy Walkup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study documents the prevalence and impact of anxiety and depression in US children based on the parent report of health care provider diagnosis. Methods: National Survey of Children's Health data from 2003, 2007, and 2011-2012 were analyzed to estimate the prevalence of anxiety or depression among children aged 6 to 17 years. Estimates were based on the parent report of being told by a health care provider that their child had the specified condition. Sociodemographic characteristics, co-occurrence of other conditions, health care use, school measures, and parenting aggravation were estimated using 2011-2012 data. Results: Based on the parent report, lifetime diagnosis of anxiety or depression among children aged 6 to 17 years increased from 5.4% in 2003 to 8.4% in 2011-2012. Current anxiety or depression increased from 4.7% in 2007 to 5.3% in 2011-2012; current anxiety increased significantly, whereas current depression did not change. Anxiety and depression were associated with increased risk of co-occurring conditions, health care use, school problems, and having parents with high parenting aggravation. Children with anxiety or depression with effective care coordination or a medical home were less likely to have unmet health care needs or parents with high parenting aggravation. Conclusion: By parent report, more than 1 in 20 US children had current anxiety or depression in 2011-2012. Both were associated with significant comorbidity and impact on children and families. These findings may inform efforts to improve the health and well-being of children with internalizing disorders. Future research is needed to determine why child anxiety diagnoses seem to have increased from 2007 to 2012. (J Dev Behav Pediatr 39: 395-403, 2018) Index terms: prevalence, impact, childhood mental disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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