Psychiatric comorbidity in children with psychogenic and functional breathing disorders.
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Background: The present study aims to assess psychiatric diagnoses in children with psychogenic and functional breathing disorders (PFBD), which consist of children with psychogenic cough, throat-clearing tics, and sighing dyspnea, and compare them to a control group without any diagnosis of chronic medical problems. Methods: The participants consist of 52 children with PFBD and 42 children without any chronic medical problems. Psychiatric diagnoses were assessed via semistructured psychiatric interviews in both groups. Results: The two groups did not differ on age (PFBD group 11.25 ± 2.61, control group 11.17 ± 2.58; t = 0.14, P = .88) or sex (48.1% of the PFBD group were female, 61.9% of the control group were female; χ2 = 1.79, P = .18). 55.8% of the PFBD group and 28.6% of the control group had at least one psychiatric diagnosis according to the semistructured interviews (χ2 = 6.99, P = .008). The most common psychiatric diagnoses in the PFBD group were attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; 17.3%), tic disorders, (15.4%), and specific phobia (15.4%). 11.5% of the cases in the PFBD group were diagnosed with somatic symptom disorder and more than half of the patients (n = 27 (51.9%)) showed clinical characteristics of tic disorders. Conclusion: Psychiatric diagnoses are common in children with PFBD, and teamwork involving child psychiatrists may be essential for the management of children with PFBD.