Anxiety intensity levels of children suffering from bronchial asthma and how they cope

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Abstract

Bronchial asthma is the most frequent chronic pulmonary disorder in the world. Population studies indicate about 10% of children in Poland suffer from it. Nowadays, the illness is mild and rarely severe due to specialized treatment. Regardless of how the illness develops, recurring asthma attacks can cause a person suffering from it to feel stigmatized, and result in tension and stress. When under stress, a sick person activates their own characteristic coping strategies, which help them to reduce discomfort. Our paper analyzes both the anxiety intensity levels experienced by children suffering from bronchial asthma and how they cope. Seventy-one children diagnosed with chronic respiratory condition, aged 12–15, were examined during their sanatorium treatment, using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) by Spielberger, adapted by Sosnowski, Iwaniszczuk, and Spielberger, and the Jak Sobie Radzisz? (How Are You Coping? – HAYC) Scale by Juczyński and Ogińska-Bulik. Thirty-eight per cent of the examined children had a high anxiety level, and 33% were diagnosed with a high anxiety-as-a-trait level. The results show significant differences between boys and girls on the anxiety trait scale, focusing on emotions strategy and seeking social support strategy. Girls have higher results on the above-mentioned scales. It was observed in the whole group of examined children that there is a statistically significant positive interrelationship between anxiety-trait results and focusing-on-emotions strategy in a dispositional stress-coping style. It is recommended to include psychotherapeutic assistance for children in standard bronchial asthma treatment.

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