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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-19

Is anxiety more common in school students with newly diagnosed specific learning disabilities? A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


1 Department of Pediatrics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
2 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
S Karande
Department of Pediatrics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.167663

Clinical trial registration REF/2014/04/006776

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Background and Objectives: School students with specific learning disabilities (SpLDs) experience chronic academic underachievement and resultant stress. The present study aimed to determine if school students with newly diagnosed SpLD were more likely to have anxiety than their regular peers. Materials and Methods: The study cases (aged 8-15 years) were recruited from our institute's learning disability clinic. The matched controls were recruited from four schools in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Anxiety was measured using the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS)-child self-report version questionnaire. Median SCAS scores and the proportion of students with an SCAS score in the "clinical anxiety" range were compared between the groups. Results: SCAS scores were significantly higher in 8-11-year-old learning-disabled male and female students (P < 0.0001 for both groups) and 12-15-year-old female students (P = 0.004), as compared with matched controls. A significantly higher number of learning-disabled students were found to have "clinical anxiety" [24.64% vs 4.35%, crude odds ratio (OR) = 7.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.91-17.78, P = 0.0001], as compared with the controls regardless of gender, age group, presence of comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or associated medical conditions. A significantly higher proportion of 8-11-year-old learning-disabled students, especially males, were found to have "clinical anxiety" as compared with 12-15-year-old learning-disabled students (crude OR = 4.38, 95% CI 1.94-9.92, P = 0.0004). Gender, presence of comorbid ADHD or associated medical conditions, and type of school attended or curriculum did not impact the prevalence of "clinical anxiety" in learning-disabled students. Interpretation and Conclusions: Students with newly diagnosed SpLD have greater odds of being "clinically anxious" relative to their regular peers. We recommend screening for anxiety in children with SpLD immediately after diagnosis so that their optimum rehabilitation can be facilitated.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow