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Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Anxiety Levels of Children with Cystic Fibrosis and Healthy Children
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  • Mürüvvet Cenk,
  • Cansu Yılmaz Yegit,
  • Almala Ergenekon,
  • Ayse Toksoy Aksoy,
  • Gulcin Bilicen,
  • Yasemin Gokdemir,
  • Ela Erdem Eralp,
  • Ayse Rodopman Arman,
  • Fazilet Karakoc,
  • Bulent Karadag
Mürüvvet Cenk
Marmara University School of Medicine
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Cansu Yılmaz Yegit
Marmara University
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Almala Ergenekon
Marmara University School of Medicine
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Ayse Toksoy Aksoy
Marmara University School of Medicine
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Gulcin Bilicen
Marmara University School of Medicine
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Yasemin Gokdemir
Marmara University
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Ela Erdem Eralp
Marmara University Faculty of Medicine
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Ayse Rodopman Arman
Marmara University School of Medicine
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Fazilet Karakoc
Marmara University Faculty of Medicine
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Bulent Karadag
Marmara University Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic disease causing recurrent respiratory tract infections. Viral respiratory tract infections are more severe in CF. The first case of COVID-19 was seen in Turkey on March 11, 2020 and nationwide school closure and lockdown were implemented. School closure and home confinement might have adverse effects on children’s physical and mental health. In this study, we aimed to compare the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on psychological reactions of CF patients and healthy controls. Methods This is a controlled cross-sectional study including 7-18 year-old children with CF. The survey included questions regarding family environment and peer relations, self care and psychological reactions to COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaire was applied to children via telephone call under parental supervision. Results We evaluated 132 CF patients and 135 their healthy peers. Mean age was 11.5±2.9 years in CF group and 11.8±3.2 years in control group (p=0.98). There were 55 girls (41.7%) in CF group and 81 girls (60%) in control group (p=0.027). The socioeconomic status of families was similar. CF patients was feeling less anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic compared to controls (p=0.01). CF patients were found to be less anxious for family members having the risk of COVID-19, less upset for the school closure, less anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic (p<0.001, 0.02, 0.01 respectively). Conclusion CF patients seem to show more resilience in coping with the pandemic. Appropriate psychological support should be provided to them and resilience strategies in coping with the pandemic should be nurtured.