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While taxonomy segregates anxiety symptoms into diagnoses, patients typically present with multiple diagnoses; this poses major challenges, particularly for youth, where mixed presentation is particularly common. Anxiety comorbidity could reflect multivariate, cross-domain interactions insufficiently emphasized in current taxonomy. We utilize network analytic approaches that model these interactions by characterizing pediatric anxiety as involving distinct, inter-connected, symptom domains. Quantifying this network structure could inform views of pediatric anxiety that shape clinical practice and research.
Participants were 4964 youths (ages 5–17 years) from seven international sites. Participants completed standard symptom inventory assessing severity along distinct domains that follow pediatric anxiety diagnostic categories. We first applied network analytic tools to quantify the anxiety domain network structure. We then examined whether variation in the network structure related to age (3-year longitudinal assessments) and sex, key moderators of pediatric anxiety expression.
The anxiety network featured a highly inter-connected structure; all domains correlated positively but to varying degrees. Anxiety patients and healthy youth differed in severity but demonstrated a comparable network structure. We noted specific sex differences in the network structure; longitudinal data indicated additional structural changes during childhood. Generalized-anxiety and panic symptoms consistently emerged as central domains.
Pediatric anxiety manifests along multiple, inter-connected symptom domains. By quantifying cross-domain associations and related moderation effects, the current study might shape views on the diagnosis, treatment, and study of pediatric anxiety.
Experts have raised concerns that oxytocin for labor induction and augmentation may have detrimental effects on the neurodevelopment of children. To investigate whether there is the reason for concern, we reviewed and evaluated the available evidence by searching databases with no language or date restrictions up to 9 September 2018. We included English-language studies reporting results on the association between perinatal oxytocin exposure and any cognitive impairment, psychiatric symptoms or disorders in childhood. We assessed the quality of studies using the Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment Scales. Independent risk estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analyses when at least two independent datasets provided data on the same symptom or disorder. Otherwise, we provided narrative summaries. Two studies examined cognitive impairment, one examined problem behavior, three examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and seven focused on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We provided narrative summaries of the studies on cognitive impairment. For ADHD, the pooled risk estimate was 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77–1.78, based on a pooled sample size of 5 47 278 offspring. For ASD, the pooled risk estimate was 1.10; 95% CI 1.04–1.17, based on 8 87 470 offspring. Conclusions that perinatal oxytocin increases the risks of neurodevelopmental problems are premature. Observational studies of low to high quality comprise the evidence-base, and confounding, especially by the genetic or environmental vulnerability, remains an issue. Current evidence is insufficient to justify modifying obstetric guidelines for the use of oxytocin, which state that it should only be used when clinically indicated.
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