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A biopsychosocial approach to parents of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis


The burden of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) in affected families has not been studied in Greece.

Primary Objectives

The unraveling of the biopsychosocial consequences in these parents regarding anxiety and/or depression, the ways of their coping (WOC) to stressful stimuli and their adherence to physicians’ and physiotherapists’ instructions.

Secondary Objectives

The correlation of these consequences with the disease activity marker (MDVAS), the CHAQ and pain (VAS).

Materials and methods

76 parents of 69 JIA children (56 mothers: 20 fathers, 14/76 in couples, mean age 39.9 and 42.8 years respectively) were assessed using specific and validated in the Greek population tools. These tools score the anxiety (Spielberger), the depression (Beck), the WOC (Lazarus & Folkman) and the adherence to the health professionals’ instructions.


The mothers demonstrated high scores regarding anxiety, either as a state (p=0.0001) or a trait (p=0.01) and symptoms of mild depression (10.28±7.60). As of the WOC, the fathers demonstrated lower scores in emphasizing the positive (p=0.004), whereas both parents demonstrated high scores of confrontable coping (p=0.0006 and p=0.02). Parents had a very satisfactory adherence to health professionals’ instructions and a concordance was observed within the couple. No significant correlation was detected between the biopsychosocial consequences and the parents’ assessment of JIA activity and outcome.

In conclusion

The biopsychosocial consequences of parenting a child with JIA are mild regarding anxiety and depression; the parents are demanding and adhere to health professionals’ instructions. However, these consequences do not correlate with the markers of the JIA course and outcome.

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Correspondence to P Pratsidou-Gertsi.

Additional information

M Trachana, P Pratsidou-Gertsi contributed equally to this work.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Georgiadou, Z., Trachana, M., Pratsidou-Gertsi, P. et al. A biopsychosocial approach to parents of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Pediatr Rheumatol 9 (Suppl 1), P115 (2011).

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