Psychological screening for the children with habitual snoring.


OBJECTIVES: Adenotonsillar hypertrophy is the major determinants of habitual snoring in pediatric population. Behavioral hyperactivity and schooling problems have been repeatedly reported in these children, and it may underlie more extensive behavioral disturbances, particularly for the obese children. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the incidence and characteristics of emotional and behavioral problems using outpatient-based psychological screening tools in the children with habitual snoring. METHODS: Total 235 patients and 170 controls, who aged 4-9 years were enrolled. Body mass index (BMI) z-score was obtained for age and gender and parental sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) questionnaire was used to assess severity of sleep-disordered breathing (SBD). Psychological assessment was performed using standardized questionnaires including Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) and Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED). RESULTS: Children presenting habitual snoring had significantly higher mean scores on almost all scales of SDQ, and SCARED than community controls. Around 20% of the children with habitual snoring, compared with 10-11% of controls had significant levels of distress that could adversely impact treatment outcomes. There was no interaction between obstructive sleep apnea severity and behavioral ratings. The scores for emotional distress and hyperactivity were more prominent in the obese children. Significant psychological distress or impairment in social interactions was observed in children with higher SRBD scores. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the presence of habitual snoring in young children is associated wide spectrum of behavioral problems and the level of psychological distress might be evaluated at the time of the diagnosis.