Psychological difficulties and parental well-being in children with musculoskeletal problems in the 2011/2012 National Survey of Children’s Health.

Objective: This study compared children with and without current musculoskeletal (MSK) problems on key indices of child psychological adjustment and parental well-being. Research Method: Prevalence estimates of psychological problems were compared for children ages 2—17 years with and without current MSK problems in the 2011/2012 National Survey of Children’s Health. Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined the effects of MSK problem severity on the risk of psychological concerns. Results: Population level differences in prevalence estimates were observed in psychological difficulties. Children with MSK problems were disproportionally affected by anxiety problems, depression, behavioral/conduct problems, and ADHD compared to children without MSK problems. Compared to children with mild MSK problems, children with severe MSK problems were 2.74 times more likely to have anxiety problems (95% CI [1.35, 2.86], p < .05). No other significant differences were found among children with mild, moderate, or severe MSK problems. Regarding parental well-being, compared to children without MSK problems, children with MSK problems were more likely to have mothers and fathers who often experience parenting stress/aggravation and have poor physical and mental health. Conclusions: Children with MSK problems are vulnerable to psychological difficulties that can affect their learning, development, and quality of life. Psychological screening and ensuring that these children receive effective mental health treatments should be a priority in pediatric health care settings. Consideration of parental physical and mental health is recommended in the assessment and treatment of children with MSK problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)