ISSN: 1305-9327

 
 

VOLUME: 14 NUMBER: 2
 
 

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Print version of Medical Journal of Bakirkoy has been stopped as of 2018; the journal continues to be published as e-journal starting with March 2018 issue.

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11 - Assessment of present and lifetime psychiatric disorders in siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder
   
Semra Yılmaz, Tayfun Kara
   
  ABSTRACT
   
  Objective: Families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a psychiatric genetic burden and are also exposed to the adverse effects of chronic disease on the family. The aim of our study was to investigate the status of psychiatric disorders in the families of individuals with ASD, their familial psychiatric burden, and the effects on parents of having children with ASD.

Material and Methods: Our case group consisted of siblings (n=70) of children aged 8-18 under monitoring with a diagnosis of ASD, while the control group consisted of siblings (n=45) of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus diagnosed at the pediatric endocrinology policlinic. The authors applied the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime Version (6-18) (K-SADS PL) to assess psychiatric diagnoses in the siblings. The Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), Social Phobia Scale for Children and Adolescents, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) were used for self-assessment of the children in the study. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Social Reciprocity Scale (SRS) were given to mothers to rate their children. Disease severity of children with ASD was assessed using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). The data obtained and scale results were subjected to statistical analysis.

Results: Siblings of children with ASD had statistically significant higher rates of speech delay, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and social anxiety disorder (p<0.05). The life-time incidences of psychiatric diagnosis (59%) and present psychiatric diagnosis (44%) in the case group were also higher than in the control group (44% and 29%, respectively), but these differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Rates of psychiatric admissions among mothers were higher in the case group (34%) than in the control group (14%), but the difference was also not statistically significant (p>0.05). Correlation analysis in the case group showed positive correlation between ASD severity and behavioral problems and lifetime psychopathology.

Conclusions: Siblings and parents of children with ASD have an increased risk for psychiatric disorders. We think that in cases of children with ASD, the treatment team should consider the familial burden and develop appropriate strategies.
   
  Keywords
  Autism spectrum disorder, familial psychopathology, psychiatric disorders, risk factors, demographic characteristics
   
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