A Cross Sectional Study to Identify Traumatic Stress, Medical Phobia and Non-Adherence to Medical Care among Very Young Pediatric Patients

Amichai Ben-Ari, Yaron Sela, Shiri Ben-David, Yael L.E. Ankri, Fortu Benarroch, Roy Aloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

After a traumatic medical event, such as surgery or hospitalization, a child may develop a phobia of medical care, sometimes preventing future medical adherence and impairing recovery. This study examined the correlation of Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress (PMTS) on the development of Medical Phobia (MP) and subsequent treatment adherence. We enrolled 152 parents of children aged 1–6 hospitalized in a surgical ward. During hospitalization, parents completed questionnaires that identified post-traumatic stress symptoms. Four months post hospitalization, parents completed questionnaires on post-traumatic stress, medical phobia, psychosocial variables and medical adherence. We found a positive correlation between PMTS and MP and low adherence to medical treatment. In addition, MP mediated the relationship between PMTS severity and adherence, indicating that PMTS severity is associated with stronger medical phobia, and lower pediatric adherence to medical treatment. Our findings suggest that medical phobia serves as an essential component of PMTS. It is important to add medical phobia to medical stress syndrome definition. In addition, as MP and PMTS are involved in the rehabilitation and recovery process and subsequent success, it is an important aspect of treatment adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1122
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • medical phobia
  • pediatric post-traumatic stress disorder
  • traumatic medical event

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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