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Psychopathology in mothers of children with pathogenic copy number variants

Niarchou, Maria, Cunningham, Adam, Chawner, Samuel, Moulding, Hayley, Sopp, Matthew, Hall, Jeremy ORCID:, Owen, Michael ORCID: and van den Bree, Marianne ORCID: 2023. Psychopathology in mothers of children with pathogenic copy number variants. Journal of Medical Genetics 60 , pp. 706-711. 10.1136/jmg-2022-108752

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Background: Caring for children with pathogenic neurodevelopmental Copy Number Variants (CNVs) (i.e., deletions and duplications of genetic material) can place a considerable burden on parents, and their quality of life. Our study is the first to examine the frequency of psychiatric diagnoses in mothers of children with CNVs compared to the frequency of psychiatric problems in age-matched mothers from a large community study. Methods: Case-control study. 268 mothers of children with a CNV diagnosed in a medical genetics clinic and 2,680 age-matched mothers taking part in the ALSPAC study. Results: Mothers of children with CNVs reported higher frequency of depression, anorexia, bulimia, alcohol abuse and drug addiction problems compared to the age-matched mothers from the community sample. Focusing on psychiatric problems arising immediately after the birth of the index child, the levels of depression symptoms were similar between the two groups (48% in mothers of children with CNVs vs. 44% in mothers of the community sample, p=0.43), but mothers of children with CNVs had higher frequency of anxiety symptoms (55%) compared to mothers from the community sample (30%, p=0.03). Conclusion: Our study highlights the need for health-care providers to devise treatment plans that not only focus on meeting the child’s needs, but also assessing and if needed, addressing the mental health needs of the parent.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 0022-2593
Funders: MRC, Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 10 November 2022
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2023 19:13

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