Background: Lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) is a common clinical condition in children, frequently associated with emotional issues both among the patients and their families. The objective of the present study was to measure depressive and anxious symptoms and quality of life (QoL) in parents of LUTD patients.
Methods: This cross-sectional study applied Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories and WHOQOL-Bref to 88 caregivers of children with LUTD followed at a tertiary care center. The prevalence of mental disorders in children and adolescents was assessed using the Child Behavior Check List (CBCL 6-18) answered by their caregivers. The association of clinical features and emotional aspects related to the caregivers' quality of life was evaluated through non-parametric correlation (Spearman) and multiple linear regression analysis.
Results: Most of the caregivers were mothers (88%), with a mean age of 41.5 (SD 8.7 years), 67% of them married or in a stable union, and 38% had not completed elementary school. Considering 19 as the cutoff point for the Beck scale, 44% of the sample had a clinical score for depressive symptoms and 43% for anxious symptoms. According to the parents' report, 56% of children with LUTD had a clinical score for behavioral problems in CBCL. Parents' QoL was impaired, and the predictors of poor QoL were the age of the patients and presence of depressive/anxious symptoms in caregivers. Parents' depression/anxiety symptoms and poor QoL significantly correlated with behavioral problems in their children. The CBCL total problems score correlated both to depression (r = 0.38, p < 0.01) and to anxiety in parents (r = 0.49, p < 0.01) (Figure).
Conclusions: These findings indicate a possible emotional impact of LUTD in patients' caregivers. Our study suggests that an approach to the family of LUTD patients' may be an important therapeutic resource for an effective clinical control of this condition.