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Psychological Interventions for Children with Functional Somatic Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Bonvanie, I. J., Kallesøe, K. H., Janssens, K. A. M., Schröder, A., Rosmalen, J. G. M. & Rask, C. U., Aug-2017, In : The Journal of Pediatrics. 187, p. 272-281.e17 27 p.

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  • Psychological Interventions for Children with Functional Somatic Symptoms

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Objective: To analyze the effectiveness of psychological treatments on symptom load and associated disability in children with functional somatic symptoms, and to explore potential moderators of effects.

Study design: Cochrane, PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, and CINAHL were searched for randomized controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals. Randomized controlled trials studying the effect of a psychological treatment on symptom load and disability in children with functional somatic symptoms were selected. Data on symptom load, disability, and school absence directly post-treatment and at follow-up were extracted by 2 assessors. Studies were appraised with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Standardized mean differences were pooled in a random-effects model. Heterogeneity in effect-sizes was explored by use of meta-regressions. PROSPERO Registration ID: CRD42015029667.

Results: Out of 4098 identified records, 27 studies were included in this review of which 21 were included in meta-analyses. Psychological treatments reduced symptom load (Hedges g = -0.61), disability (Hedges g = -0.42), and school absence (Hedges g = -0.51) post-treatment in children suffering from various functional somatic symptoms. Effects were maintained at follow-up. Type and duration of symptoms, age, and treatment dose did not explain heterogeneity in effect-sizes between studies. Effect-sizes should be interpreted with caution because of the variety in outcome measures, unexplained heterogeneity in found effects and potential publication bias.

Conclusions: Psychological interventions reduce symptom load, disability, and school absence in children with functional somatic symptoms. Future research should clarify which patient and treatment characteristics modify outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-281.e17
Number of pages27
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Volume187
Early online date14-Apr-2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2017

    Keywords

  • CHRONIC-FATIGUE-SYNDROME, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL, RECURRENT ABDOMINAL-PAIN, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, IRRITABLE-BOWEL-SYNDROME, TERM-FOLLOW-UP, EMPIRICALLY SUPPORTED TREATMENTS, GUT-DIRECTED HYPNOTHERAPY, TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE, SOMATIZATION INVENTORY

ID: 42669577