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Children, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2024) – 124 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The objectives of this study were to analyse the functionality of using supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques to analyse results related to the development of functional skills in patients at developmental ages of 0–6 years. We worked with a sample of 113 patients, of whom 49 were cared for in a specific centre for people with motor impairments (Group 1) and 64 were cared for in a specific early care programme for patients with different impairments (Group 2). The results indicated that in Group 1, chronological age predicted the development of functional skills at 85% and in Group 2 at 65%. The classification variable detected was functional development in the upper extremities. Two clusters were detected within each group that allowed us to determine the patterns of functional development in each patient with respect to functional skills. View this paper
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10 pages, 203 KiB  
Article
Amnioreduction for Polyhydramnios in a Consecutive Series at a Single Center: Indications, Risks and Perinatal Outcomes
by Arianna Laoreti, Valentina Sala, Daniela Casati, Stefano Faiola, Luigina Spaccini, Irene Cetin and Mariano M. Lanna
Children 2024, 11(4), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040502 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Pregnancies complicated by severe polyhydramnios are associated with a high rate of underlying fetal anomaly. Amnioreduction may be offered to alleviate maternal symptoms. This is a retrospective study of amnioreductions performed on singleton and twin gestations complicated by symptomatic polyhydramnios between 2010 and [...] Read more.
Pregnancies complicated by severe polyhydramnios are associated with a high rate of underlying fetal anomaly. Amnioreduction may be offered to alleviate maternal symptoms. This is a retrospective study of amnioreductions performed on singleton and twin gestations complicated by symptomatic polyhydramnios between 2010 and 2023 at our tertiary referral center. The indications, procedural techniques and pregnancy and neonatal outcomes were retrieved from an archive database and reviewed with the use of the maternal and child medical record chart, the hospital electronic clinical discharge report and telephone recalls. Our study comprised 86 pregnancies, 65 singletons and 21 twin pregnancies. Fetal anomalies were identified in 79% of cases, mainly gastrointestinal obstructive anomalies; 9.3% of cases were idiopathic. The median gestational age at first amnioreduction was 32.5 weeks, and peri-procedural complications were rare (1 case of placental abruption and 2 cases of preterm delivery). The median gestational age at delivery was 36.5 weeks, with a median prolongation of the pregnancy from the time of first drain until birth of 30 days. Preterm labor < 37 weeks occurred in 48.8% of procedures, with 26.7% of patients delivering before 34 weeks and pPROM < 36 weeks recorded in 23.2% of cases. In conclusion, amnioreduction offered to alleviate maternal symptoms is a reasonably safe procedure with a low complication rate. These pregnancies necessitate management in a tertiary referral center because of their need for a multidisciplinary approach both prenatally and postnatally. Full article
26 pages, 888 KiB  
Systematic Review
Spontaneous Mandibular Dentoalveolar Changes after Rapid Maxillary Expansion (RME), Slow Maxillary Expansion (SME), and Leaf Expander—A Systematic Review
by Alessandro Ugolini, Andrea Abate, Margherita Donelli, Francesca Gaffuri, Alessandro Bruni, Cinzia Maspero and Valentina Lanteri
Children 2024, 11(4), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040501 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Background: This systematic review aims to analyze the spontaneous dentoalveolar changes in the mandibular arch after maxillary expansion in growing patients obtained with different expansion protocols: Rapid Maxillary Expansion (RME), Slow Maxillary Expansion (SME), and Leaf Expander. Methods: The study adhered to the [...] Read more.
Background: This systematic review aims to analyze the spontaneous dentoalveolar changes in the mandibular arch after maxillary expansion in growing patients obtained with different expansion protocols: Rapid Maxillary Expansion (RME), Slow Maxillary Expansion (SME), and Leaf Expander. Methods: The study adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Eligibility criteria were established in the PICO format, involving patients who underwent slow, rapid, or leaf maxillary expansion during the mixed or early permanent dentitions. A comprehensive search of electronic databases and manual searches was conducted up to December 2023. The outcome measures included inter-mandibular first permanent molar width, inter-deciduous molar and canine width, arch perimeter, and arch length; both short- and long-term results were considered. The articles that met the inclusion criteria were included in this systematic review and were qualitatively evaluated using a methodological quality scoring system with a 13-point scale. To assess the inter-examiner agreement concerning the article selection and the qualitative assessment of the included studies, Kappa statistics were computed. Results: A total of 1184 articles were identified through electronic and manual searches. After the removal of duplicates and the initial examination of the titles and abstracts, 57 articles were considered for the full text analysis, and according to the eligibility and exclusion criteria, 22 studies were finally selected, composed of 8 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 14 retrospective/case-control studies. The qualitative assessment of the included studies showed the following scores: 6 papers have high research quality, 5 have moderate quality, and 11 have low quality. SME demonstrated negligible mandibular changes, with less than 1 mm variation on average (range 0.46–2.00 mm) in the selected parameters and relapses observed in the long term. RME induced more significant increases, particularly in intermolar width greater than 1 mm, which ranged between 0.93 and 3.3 mm, and good stability over the long term. Leaf Expander exhibited promising short-term lower intermolar width increases greater than 1 mm and ranged from 0.5 to 1.69 mm, but long-term stability was not thoroughly evaluated. Conclusions: SME results in negligible short- and long-term effects, while RME, especially with Haas-type appliances, exhibits significant intermolar width increases that remain stable over the years. Leaf Expander shows short-term lower intermolar width increases, requiring further investigation into long-term stability. Full article
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14 pages, 7891 KiB  
Article
Hip Joint Stability during and after Femoral Lengthening in Congenital Femoral Deficiency
by Jędrzej Tschurl, Milud Shadi and Tomasz Kotwicki
Children 2024, 11(4), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040500 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 557
Abstract
Background: Hip stability remains a major preoccupation during femoral lengthening in Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD). We aimed to review hip stability in Paley type 1a CFD patients undergoing femoral lengthening. Methods: A total of 33 patients with unilateral CFD, who were treated between [...] Read more.
Background: Hip stability remains a major preoccupation during femoral lengthening in Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD). We aimed to review hip stability in Paley type 1a CFD patients undergoing femoral lengthening. Methods: A total of 33 patients with unilateral CFD, who were treated between 2014 and 2023, were retrospectively reviewed. In 20/33 cases (60.6%) the SUPERhip preparatory surgery was performed at a mean age of 4.3 years (range 2.7–8.1). The femoral lengthening using an external fixator was performed at a mean age of 7.8 years (range 4.3–14.3). Results: All patients presented with a stable hip joint after preparatory surgery and during femoral lengthening. Six cases of hip instability at a mean of 637 days after the external fixator removal were observed (range 127 to 1447 days). No significant differences between stable and unstable hips were noted for (1) Center-Edge Angle: 23.7 vs. 26.1 deg; (2) Acetabular Inclination: 12.8 vs. 11.7 deg; and (3) Ex-Fix Index: 35.6 days/cm vs. 42.4 days/cm; p > 0.05. Late hip instability was related to Coxa Vara and decreased femoral antetorsion before lengthening. Conclusions: Late hip joint instability in Paley type 1a CFD patients may occur long after femoral lengthening despite hip morphology appearing to be normal on radiograms before and at the end of femoral lengthening. Coxa Vara, femoral torsional deformity, and posterior acetabular deficiency might be risk factors for hip instability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Pediatric Orthopedic Trauma)
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20 pages, 1690 KiB  
Systematic Review
Silver Diamine Fluoride in Pediatric Dentistry: Effectiveness in Preventing and Arresting Dental Caries—A Systematic Review
by Alexandrina Muntean, Soundouss Myriam Mzoughi, Mariana Pacurar, Sebastian Candrea, Alessio Danilo Inchingolo, Angelo Michele Inchingolo, Laura Ferrante, Gianna Dipalma, Francesco Inchingolo, Andrea Palermo and Ioana Roxana Bordea
Children 2024, 11(4), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040499 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 738
Abstract
Background: Tooth decay is considered a global scourge by the World Health Organization (WHO) starting at an early age. In recent years, silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has regained interest, particularly in pediatric dentistry, used to prevent the development of carious lesions or arrest [...] Read more.
Background: Tooth decay is considered a global scourge by the World Health Organization (WHO) starting at an early age. In recent years, silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has regained interest, particularly in pediatric dentistry, used to prevent the development of carious lesions or arrest their progression. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess, through a systematic review of the literature, the effectiveness of SDF, used in pedodontics, in temporary teeth, in preventing or arresting dental caries. Material and Methods: An electronic search was conducted on PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus. The effect of SDF on both temporary and permanent teeth has been considered. Results: The inclusion criteria identified 16 randomized controlled trials involving patients aged 18 months to 13 years and followed over a period of 12–30 months. Conclusions: SDF is a practical, accessible and effective non-invasive way to prevent and arrest caries in temporary and permanent teeth. Its application requires regular monitoring. The resulting black spot is diminished by immediate application of potassium iodide but this may affect its effectiveness. Full article
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16 pages, 1466 KiB  
Review
Understanding Osteochondritis Dissecans: A Narrative Review of the Disease Commonly Affecting Children and Adolescents
by Wojciech Konarski, Tomasz Poboży, Klaudia Konarska, Michał Derczyński and Ireneusz Kotela
Children 2024, 11(4), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040498 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 679
Abstract
Background: Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a joint disorder predominantly affecting the knee, elbow, and ankle of children and adolescents. This comprehensive review delves into the epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic approaches, and treatment of OCD. Results: The most common cause of OCD is [...] Read more.
Background: Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a joint disorder predominantly affecting the knee, elbow, and ankle of children and adolescents. This comprehensive review delves into the epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic approaches, and treatment of OCD. Results: The most common cause of OCD is repetitive microtrauma, typically associated with sports activities, alongside other significant factors such as genetic predisposition, ischemia, and obesity. In early stages or when lesions are small, OCD often presents as non-specific, vaguely localized pain during physical activity. As the condition progresses, patients may experience an escalation in symptoms, including increased stiffness and occasional swelling, either during or following activity. These symptom patterns are crucial for early recognition and timely intervention. Diagnosis in most cases is based on radiographic imaging and magnetic resonance imaging. Nonsurgical treatment of OCD in young patients with open growth plates and mild symptoms involves activity restriction, immobilization methods, and muscle strengthening exercises, with a return to sports only after symptoms are fully resolved and at least six months have passed. Surgical treatment of OCD includes subchondral drilling in mild cases. Unstable lesions involve methods like restoring the joint surface, stabilizing fractures, and enhancing blood flow, using techniques such as screws, anchors, and pins, along with the removal of fibrous tissue and creation of vascular channels. The specifics of OCD treatment largely depend on the affected site. Conclusions: This synthesis of current research and clinical practices provides a nuanced understanding of OCD, guiding future research directions and enhancing therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Physical Activity and Health)
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13 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Serum Biomarker Analysis in Pediatric ADHD: Implications of Homocysteine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Ferritin, and Iron Levels
by Tanja Lukovac, Olivera Aleksić Hil, Milka Popović, Vitomir Jovanović, Tatjana Savić, Aleksandra M. Pavlović and Dragan Pavlović
Children 2024, 11(4), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040497 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 977
Abstract
The current diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is based on history, clinical observation, and behavioral tests. There is a high demand to find biomarkers for the diagnosis of ADHD. The aim of this study is to analyze the serum profiles of [...] Read more.
The current diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is based on history, clinical observation, and behavioral tests. There is a high demand to find biomarkers for the diagnosis of ADHD. The aim of this study is to analyze the serum profiles of several biomarkers, including homocysteine (Hcy), vitamin B12, vitamin D, ferritin, and iron, in a cohort of 133 male subjects (6.5–12.5 years), including 67 individuals with an ADHD diagnosis based on DSM-V criteria and 66 age-matched healthy boys (healthy controls, HC). Assessments for ADHD included the Iowa Conners’ Teacher Rating Scale (CPRS) and the ADHDT test, as well as cognitive assessments using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) and the TROG-2 language comprehension test. Hcy and iron were quantified using spectrophotometry, while vitamin B12 and total 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were determined using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) and ferritin was measured using a particle-enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay. The results showed significantly increased Hcy levels and decreased vitamin B12 levels in ADHD patients compared to HCs. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that Hcy is a potential prognostic indicator for ADHD. These results suggest that elevated homocysteine and decreased vitamin B12 may serve as markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of ADHD. Full article
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11 pages, 2564 KiB  
Article
Static Plantar Pressure under Different Conditions in Children with Surgically Treated Unilateral Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
by Marius Negru, Andrei Daniel Bolovan, Elena Amaricai, Liliana Catan, Oana Belei, Adrian Emil Lazarescu, Corina Maria Stanciulescu, Eugen Sorin Boia and Calin Marius Popoiu
Children 2024, 11(4), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040496 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Background: Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is the most common hip disease during infancy and adolescence. Our study aimed to analyze static plantar pressure in children with surgically treated unilateral SCFE. Methods: Twenty-two children with right SCFE with in situ fixation with one [...] Read more.
Background: Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is the most common hip disease during infancy and adolescence. Our study aimed to analyze static plantar pressure in children with surgically treated unilateral SCFE. Methods: Twenty-two children with right SCFE with in situ fixation with one percutaneous screw were assessed by PoData plantar pressure analysis under three different conditions (open eyes, eyes closed, and head retroflexed). Results: The total foot loading was significantly higher on the unaffected limb compared with the affected one for all the three testing conditions (p < 0.05). When assessing the differences between testing conditions, there were no significant differences for the right and left foot loadings, or for the three sites of weight distribution, except for the right fifth metatarsal head (lower loading in eyes-closed condition in comparison to eyes open, p = 0.0068), left fifth metatarsal head (increased loading in head-retroflexed condition in comparison to eyes open, p = 0.0209), and left heel (lower loading in head-retroflexed condition in comparison to eyes open, p = 0.0293). Conclusion: Even after a successful surgical procedure, differences in foot loading can impact the postural static activities in different conditions (natural eyes-open, eyes-closed, or head-retroflexed posture). Full article
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10 pages, 187 KiB  
Review
Considerations for Treatment in Clinical Care of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Patients
by Stephanie Voight and Kapil Arya
Children 2024, 11(4), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040495 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1216
Abstract
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a neurodegenerative disease which can lead to muscle weakness, paralysis, and in some cases death. There are many factors that contribute to the severity of symptoms and those factors can be used to determine the best course of treatment [...] Read more.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a neurodegenerative disease which can lead to muscle weakness, paralysis, and in some cases death. There are many factors that contribute to the severity of symptoms and those factors can be used to determine the best course of treatment for the patients. We looked through published literature to create a set of considerations for treatment in patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy including age, type, SMN2 copies, and any familial considerations. This can serve as a guide for what to consider in the treatment of SMA patients clinically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pediatric Neuromuscular Disorders)
10 pages, 1182 KiB  
Article
Development of a Standardized Algorithm for Management of Newly Diagnosed Anorectal Malformations
by Shruthi Srinivas, Alessandra Gasior, Sarah Driesbach, Natalie DeBacco, Liese C. C. Pruitt, Casey Trimble, Pooja Zahora, Claudia M. Mueller and Richard J. Wood
Children 2024, 11(4), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040494 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Neonates with a new diagnosis of anorectal malformation (ARM) present a unique challenge to the clinical team. ARM is strongly associated with additional midline malformations, such as those observed in the VACTERL sequence, including vertebral, cardiac, and renal malformations. Timely assessment is necessary [...] Read more.
Neonates with a new diagnosis of anorectal malformation (ARM) present a unique challenge to the clinical team. ARM is strongly associated with additional midline malformations, such as those observed in the VACTERL sequence, including vertebral, cardiac, and renal malformations. Timely assessment is necessary to identify anomalies requiring intervention and to prevent undue stress and delayed treatment. We utilized a multidisciplinary team to develop an algorithm guiding the midline workup of patients newly diagnosed with ARM. Patients were included if born in or transferred to our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), or if seen in clinic within one month of life. Complete imaging was defined as an echocardiogram, renal ultrasound, and spinal magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound within the first month of life. We compared three periods: prior to implementation (2010–2014), adoption period (2015), and delayed implementation (2022); p ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Rates of complete imaging significantly improved from pre-implementation to delayed implementation (65.2% vs. 50.0% vs. 97.0%, p = 0.0003); the most growth was observed in spinal imaging (71.0% vs. 90.0% vs. 100.0%, p = 0.001). While there were no differences in the rates of identified anomalies, there were fewer missed diagnoses with the algorithm (10.0% vs. 47.6%, p = 0.05). We demonstrate that the implementation of a standardized algorithm can significantly increase appropriate screening for anomalies associated with a new diagnosis of ARM and can decrease delayed diagnosis. Further qualitative studies will help to refine and optimize the algorithm moving forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pediatric Colorectal Surgery)
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14 pages, 431 KiB  
Article
Gaining Insight into Teenagers’ Experiences of Pain after Laparoscopic Surgeries: A Prospective Study
by Mihaela Visoiu, Jacques Chelly and Senthilkumar Sadhasivam
Children 2024, 11(4), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040493 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 530
Abstract
There is an anecdotal impression that teenage patients report exaggerated postoperative pain scores that do not correlate with their actual level of pain. Nurse and parental perception of teenagers’ pain can be complemented by knowledge of patient pain behavior, catastrophizing thoughts about pain, [...] Read more.
There is an anecdotal impression that teenage patients report exaggerated postoperative pain scores that do not correlate with their actual level of pain. Nurse and parental perception of teenagers’ pain can be complemented by knowledge of patient pain behavior, catastrophizing thoughts about pain, anxiety, and mood level. Two hundred and two patients completed the study—56.4% were female, 89.6% White, 5.4% Black, and 5% were of other races. Patient ages ranged from 11 to 17 years (mean = 13.8; SD = 1.9). The patient, the parent, and the nurse completed multiple questionnaires on day one after laparoscopic surgery to assess patient pain. Teenagers and parents (r = 0.56) have a high level of agreement, and teenagers and nurses (r = 0.47) have a moderate level of agreement on pain scores (p < 0.05). The correlation between patient APBQ (adolescent pain behavior questionnaire) and teenager VAS (visual analog scale) and between nurse APBQ and teenager VAS, while statistically significant (p < 0.05), is weaker (r range = 0.14–0.17). There is a moderate correlation between teenagers’ pain scores and their psychological assessments of anxiety, catastrophic thoughts, and mood (r range = 0.26–0.39; p < 0.05). A multi-modal evaluation of postoperative pain can be more informative than only assessing self-reported pain scores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine)
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11 pages, 2089 KiB  
Article
DNA Methylation Profiles Are Stable in H3 K27M-Mutant Diffuse Midline Glioma Neurosphere Cell Lines
by Matthew J. Schniederjan, Cahil Potnis, Varshini Vasudevaraja, Catherine D. Moser, Bethany Watson, Matija Snuderl, Tobey MacDonald and Beverly B. Rogers
Children 2024, 11(4), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040492 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 504
Abstract
Diffuse midline gliomas are among the deadliest human cancers and have had little progress in treatment in the last 50 years. Cell cultures of these tumors have been developed recently, but the degree to which such cultures retain the characteristics of the source [...] Read more.
Diffuse midline gliomas are among the deadliest human cancers and have had little progress in treatment in the last 50 years. Cell cultures of these tumors have been developed recently, but the degree to which such cultures retain the characteristics of the source tumors is unknown. DNA methylation profiling offers a powerful tool to look at genome-wide epigenetic changes that are biologically meaningful and can help assess the similarity of cultured tumor cells to their in vivo progenitors. Paraffinized diagnostic tissue from three diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas with H3 K27M mutations was compared with subsequent passages of neurosphere cell cultures from those tumors. Each cell line was passaged 3–4 times and analyzed with DNA methylation arrays and standard algorithms that provided a comparison of diagnostic classification and cluster analysis. All samples tested maintained high classifier scores and clustered within the reference group of H3 K27M-mutant diffuse midline gliomas. There was a gain of 1q in all cell lines, with two cell lines initially manifesting the gain of 1q only during culture. In vitro cell cultures of H3 K27M-mutant gliomas maintain high degrees of similarity in DNA methylation profiles to their source tumor, confirming their fidelity even with some chromosomal changes. Full article
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14 pages, 672 KiB  
Article
Motor Adaptation Deficits in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder and/or Reading Disorder
by Jérémy Danna, Margaux Lê, Jessica Tallet, Jean-Michel Albaret, Yves Chaix, Stéphanie Ducrot and Marianne Jover
Children 2024, 11(4), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040491 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Procedural learning has been mainly tested through motor sequence learning tasks in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, especially with isolated Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Reading Disorder (RD). Studies on motor adaptation are scarcer and more controversial. This study aimed to compare the performance [...] Read more.
Procedural learning has been mainly tested through motor sequence learning tasks in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, especially with isolated Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Reading Disorder (RD). Studies on motor adaptation are scarcer and more controversial. This study aimed to compare the performance of children with isolated and associated DCD and RD in a graphomotor adaptation task. In total, 23 children with RD, 16 children with DCD, 19 children with DCD-RD, and 21 typically developing (TD) children wrote trigrams both in the conventional (from left to right) and opposite (from right to left) writing directions. The results show that movement speed and accuracy were more impacted by the adaptation condition (opposite writing direction) in children with neurodevelopmental disorders than TD children. Our results also reveal that children with RD have less difficulty adapting their movement than children with DCD. Children with DCD-RD had the most difficulty, and analysis of their performance suggests a cumulative effect of the two neurodevelopmental disorders in motor adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
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36 pages, 1026 KiB  
Review
An Update on Pharmacologic Management of Neonatal Hypotension: When, Why, and Which Medication
by Eleni Agakidou, Ilias Chatziioannidis, Angeliki Kontou, Theodora Stathopoulou, William Chotas and Kosmas Sarafidis
Children 2024, 11(4), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040490 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Anti-hypotensive treatment, which includes dopamine, dobutamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, milrinone, vasopressin, terlipressin, levosimendan, and glucocorticoids, is a long-established intervention in neonates with arterial hypotension (AH). However, there are still gaps in knowledge and issues that need clarification. The main questions and challenges that neonatologists [...] Read more.
Anti-hypotensive treatment, which includes dopamine, dobutamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, milrinone, vasopressin, terlipressin, levosimendan, and glucocorticoids, is a long-established intervention in neonates with arterial hypotension (AH). However, there are still gaps in knowledge and issues that need clarification. The main questions and challenges that neonatologists face relate to the reference ranges of arterial blood pressure in presumably healthy neonates in relation to gestational and postnatal age; the arterial blood pressure level that potentially affects perfusion of critical organs; the incorporation of targeted echocardiography and near-infrared spectroscopy for assessing heart function and cerebral perfusion in clinical practice; the indication, timing, and choice of medication for each individual patient; the limited randomized clinical trials in neonates with sometimes conflicting results; and the sparse data regarding the potential effect of early hypotension or anti-hypotensive medications on long-term neurodevelopment. In this review, after a short review of AH definitions used in neonates and existing data on pathophysiology of AH, we discuss currently available data on pharmacokinetic and hemodynamic effects, as well as the effectiveness and safety of anti-hypotensive medications in neonates. In addition, data on the comparisons between anti-hypotensive medications and current suggestions for the main indications of each medication are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neonatal Clinical Pharmacology)
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13 pages, 1720 KiB  
Article
Speech Sounds Production, Narrative Skills, and Verbal Memory of Children with 22q11.2 Microdeletion
by Marijana Rakonjac, Goran Cuturilo, Natasa Kovacevic-Grujicic, Ivana Simeunovic, Jovana Kostic, Milena Stevanovic and Danijela Drakulic
Children 2024, 11(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040489 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 598
Abstract
22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS), the most frequent microdeletion syndrome in humans, is related to a high risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders. About 95% of patients with 22q11.2DS have speech and language impairments. Global articulation, story generation, and verbal memory tests were applied to [...] Read more.
22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS), the most frequent microdeletion syndrome in humans, is related to a high risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders. About 95% of patients with 22q11.2DS have speech and language impairments. Global articulation, story generation, and verbal memory tests were applied to compare articulatory characteristics of speech sounds, spontaneous language abilities, and immediate verbal memory between four groups of Serbian-speaking children: patients with 22q11.2DS, children with clinical presentation of 22q11.2DS that do not have the microdeletion, children with non-syndromic congenital heart defects, and their peers with typical speech–sound development. The obtained results showed that children with this microdeletion have impaired articulation skills and expressive language abilities. However, we did not observe weaker receptive language skills and immediate verbal memory compared to healthy controls. Children with 22q11.2DS should be considered a risk category for the development of speech–sound pathology and expressive language abilities. Since speech intelligibility is an instrument of cognition and adequate peer socialization, and language impairment in school-aged children with 22q11DS might be an indicator of increased risk for later psychotic symptoms, patients with 22q11.2 microdeletion should be included in a program of early stimulation of speech–language development immediately after diagnosis is established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Pediatrics)
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13 pages, 232 KiB  
Article
Youth Suicide Prevention Programming among the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians: Effects of the Lifelines Student Curriculum
by John P. Bartkowski, Katherine Klee and Xiaohe Xu
Children 2024, 11(4), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040488 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Suicide continues to be a leading cause of mortality for young people. Given persistent intersecting forms of disadvantage, Native American adolescents are especially vulnerable to mental health adversities and other suicide risk factors. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) implemented the Choctaw [...] Read more.
Suicide continues to be a leading cause of mortality for young people. Given persistent intersecting forms of disadvantage, Native American adolescents are especially vulnerable to mental health adversities and other suicide risk factors. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) implemented the Choctaw Youth Resilience Initiative (CYRI), a five-year SAMHSA-funded project that began in 2019. This study uses Choctaw student pre-test/post-test survey data to examine the effectiveness of the Hazelden Lifelines Suicide Prevention Training curriculum for youth. A lagged post-test design was used, whereby post-surveys were administered at least one month after program completion. Several intriguing results were observed. First, the lagged post-test model was subject to some pre-to-post attrition, although such attrition was comparable to a standard pre/post design. Second, analyses of completed surveys using means indicated various beneficial effects associated with the Lifelines curriculum implementation. The greatest benefit of the program was a significant change in student perceptions concerning school readiness in response to a suicidal event. Some opportunities for program improvement were also observed. Our study sheds new light on suicide prevention training programs that can be adapted according to Native American youth culture. Program implementation and evaluation implications are discussed in light of these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Mental Health Practices for School-Age Children)
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10 pages, 5309 KiB  
Communication
Non-Surgical Strategies for Managing Skeletal Deformities in a Child with X-Linked Hereditary Hypophosphatemic Ricket: Insights and Perspectives
by Tung-Hee Tie, Wei-Han Lin, Ming-Tung Huang, Po-Ting Wu, Meng-Che Tsai, Yen-Yin Chou, Chih-Kai Hong, Chii-Jeng Lin and Chien-An Shih
Children 2024, 11(4), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040487 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 566
Abstract
This case report sheds light on the management of skeletal deformity in a young child with X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), emphasizing the significance of a timely orthotic intervention alongside pharmacological treatment, which is a strategy not frequently highlighted in the XLH literature. The patient, [...] Read more.
This case report sheds light on the management of skeletal deformity in a young child with X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), emphasizing the significance of a timely orthotic intervention alongside pharmacological treatment, which is a strategy not frequently highlighted in the XLH literature. The patient, a 2-year-and-7-month-old female, presented with classic XLH symptoms, including short stature, pronounced genu varum, and hypophosphatemia, with deformities observed in both the coronal and sagittal planes of the femur and tibia. Despite initial reliance on pharmacotherapy, which proved insufficient for skeletal realignment, the integration of orthotic treatment at age 3 marked a pivotal turn in the management strategy. By the age of 5 years and 9 months, this combined approach yielded significant improvements: the deformities in the femur and tibia were notably corrected, tibial torsion was addressed, and enhanced limb alignment was achieved, as corroborated by radiographic evidence. This case underscores the effectiveness of orthotic intervention as a critical and underemphasized adjunct to pharmacological therapy in managing XLH in early childhood. It advocates for the early inclusion of orthotic measures to optimize treatment outcomes and expand the range of management strategies for limb deformities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Diseases in Pediatrics: Diagnosis and Treatment)
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17 pages, 1322 KiB  
Systematic Review
Reliability of IL-6 Alone and in Combination for Diagnosis of Late Onset Sepsis: A Systematic Review
by Julia Eichberger, Elisabeth Resch and Bernhard Resch
Children 2024, 11(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040486 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Diagnosis of neonatal sepsis is difficult due to nonspecific signs and symptoms. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a promising marker for neonatal sepsis. We aimed to test the accuracy of IL-6 in neonates after 72 h of life in case of late onset sepsis (LOS). [...] Read more.
Diagnosis of neonatal sepsis is difficult due to nonspecific signs and symptoms. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a promising marker for neonatal sepsis. We aimed to test the accuracy of IL-6 in neonates after 72 h of life in case of late onset sepsis (LOS). We searched for studies regarding IL-6 accuracy for the diagnosis of LOS between 1990 and 2020 using the PubMed database. Following study selection, the reported IL-6 sensitivities and specificities ranged between 68% and 100% and 28% and 100%, with median values of 85.7% and 82% and pooled values of 88% and 78% (respectively) in the 15 studies including 1306 infants. Subgroup analysis revealed a better sensitivity (87% vs. 82%), but not specificity (both 86%), in preterm infants compared to term infants or mixed populations. Early sample collection revealed the highest sensitivity (84%), but had the lowest specificity (86%). To assess quality, we used a STARD checklist adapted for septic neonates and the QUADAS criteria. Limitations of this review include the heterogeneous group of studies on the one side and the small number of studies on the other side that analyzed different combinations of biomarkers. We concluded that IL-6 demonstrated good performance especially in the preterm infant population and the best results were achieved by measurements at the time of LOS suspicion. Full article
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13 pages, 1329 KiB  
Article
Definition and Assessment of Paediatric Breakthrough Pain: A Qualitative Interview Study
by Eleanor Dawson, Katie Greenfield, Bernie Carter, Simon Bailey, Anna-Karenia Anderson, Dilini Rajapakse, Kate Renton, Christine Mott, Richard Hain, Emily Harrop, Margaret Johnson and Christina Liossi
Children 2024, 11(4), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040485 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1092
Abstract
Infants, children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions often experience acute, transient pain episodes known as breakthrough pain. There is currently no established way to assess breakthrough pain in paediatric palliative care. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is frequently underdiagnosed and [...] Read more.
Infants, children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions often experience acute, transient pain episodes known as breakthrough pain. There is currently no established way to assess breakthrough pain in paediatric palliative care. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated, resulting in reduced quality of life. The development of a standardised paediatric breakthrough pain assessment, based on healthcare professionals’ insights, could improve patient outcomes. This study aimed to explore how healthcare professionals define and assess breakthrough pain in paediatric palliative care and their attitudes towards a validated paediatric breakthrough pain assessment. This was a descriptive qualitative interview study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 29 healthcare professionals working in paediatric palliative care across the UK. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted on the data. Five themes were generated: ‘the elusive nature of breakthrough pain’, ‘breakthrough pain assessment’, ‘positive attitudes towards’, ‘reservations towards’ and ‘features to include in’ a paediatric breakthrough pain assessment. The definition and assessment of breakthrough pain is inconsistent in paediatric palliative care. There is a clear need for a validated assessment questionnaire to improve assessment, diagnosis and management of breakthrough pain followed by increased healthcare professional education on the concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pediatric Anesthesia, Pain Medicine and Intensive Care)
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12 pages, 1254 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Executive Functions in Pediatric Epilepsy: Feasibility and Efficacy of a Computerized Cognitive Training Program
by José Luis Tapia, Luis Miguel Aras and Jon Andoni Duñabeitia
Children 2024, 11(4), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040484 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Epilepsy, a prevalent neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, significantly impacts individuals’ neurobiological, cognitive, and social lives. This report presents a feasibility study investigating the effects of a computerized cognitive training program on enhancing executive functions, particularly inhibitory control, in children and adolescents [...] Read more.
Epilepsy, a prevalent neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, significantly impacts individuals’ neurobiological, cognitive, and social lives. This report presents a feasibility study investigating the effects of a computerized cognitive training program on enhancing executive functions, particularly inhibitory control, in children and adolescents with epilepsy. Employing a pre-test–intervention–post-test design, the study involved 26 participants with diverse epileptic syndromes, focusing on those without severe intellectual disabilities. The intervention, based on the CogniFit Inc. platform, consisted of personalized tasks aiming to improve participants’ inhibitory skills over 16 weeks, with an average of 40 sessions completed per participant. Results indicated significant improvements in reaction times and error rates in an anti-saccade task, demonstrating enhanced inhibitory control and general performance post-intervention. These findings suggest that targeted cognitive training is a feasible approach to bolster executive functions in young individuals with epilepsy, potentially improving their academic performance, employability, and social interactions. The study underscores the importance of early cognitive interventions in epilepsy management, highlighting the potential for computerized programs to aid in mitigating cognitive deficits associated with the condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Treatment in Childhood Epilepsy)
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15 pages, 1400 KiB  
Article
Associations among COVID-19 Family Stress, Family Functioning, and Child Health-Related Quality of Life through Lifestyle Behaviors in Children
by Kay W. Kim, Jan L. Wallander and Deborah Wiebe
Children 2024, 11(4), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040483 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 743
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lasting effects on children, necessitating a thorough understanding of its impact for effective recovery planning. This study investigated the associations among COVID-19 family stress, family functioning, children’s lifestyle behaviors (i.e., healthy food intake, unhealthy food intake, physical [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lasting effects on children, necessitating a thorough understanding of its impact for effective recovery planning. This study investigated the associations among COVID-19 family stress, family functioning, children’s lifestyle behaviors (i.e., healthy food intake, unhealthy food intake, physical activity, and screen time), and their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Data from a 2022 survey of parents with children aged 5 to 12 (mean age of boys: 8.36, mean age of girls: 7.76) in the United States through the online Prolific platform were analyzed using path analysis and gender-based multi-group analysis. The results showed an inverse relationship between family stressors and functioning (β = −0.39, p < 0.05). COVID-19 family stress was negatively related to child physical HRQOL (β = −0.20, p < 0.05) but not psychosocial HRQOL. Family functioning showed a positive relation with child healthy food intake (β = 0.26, p < 0.05) and a negative relation with unhealthy diet consumption (β = −0.27, p < 0.05), while no significant associations were found with child physical activity and screen time. Family functioning was indirectly associated with both types of HRQOL through the child’s eating patterns. These relationships were more pronounced for girls. The findings point to a complex interplay between family stress and functioning, dietary habits, and the HRQOL of children during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly concerning girls’ food intake and well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family System and Chronic Disease in Childhood and Adolescence)
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12 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
A Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Czech Version of the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire: The Content Validity Part
by Nikol Vlasakova, Martin Musalek and Ladislav Cepicka
Children 2024, 11(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040482 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 523
Abstract
The Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ) is a widely used parent questionnaire for screening motor coordination disorders in children aged 5–15 years. Despite increasing motor difficulties in children, a validated version is lacking in Central Europe. In addition, previous studies pointed out that [...] Read more.
The Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ) is a widely used parent questionnaire for screening motor coordination disorders in children aged 5–15 years. Despite increasing motor difficulties in children, a validated version is lacking in Central Europe. In addition, previous studies pointed out that several DCDQ items were shown to be problematic in different cultural environments. We found that the majority of these studies did not assess the item’s content validity approach for keeping the semantic form and linguistic intelligibility of the original items. Therefore, this study aimed to translate the DCDQ, determine the content validity of items, and adapt the DCDQ for Czech children aged 6–10 years, where the identification of motor difficulties is crucial. Back-translation was employed, and face validity was consulted with linguistic experts and occupational therapists. A sample of 25 bilingual parents and practitioners evaluated the translated version, with content validity assessed using the Content Validity Ratio coefficient (CVR). Initial CVR scores ranged from 0.6 to 1.0. Lower scores were found for items 14 and 15, which were shown to be problematic in previous studies. The reason for the lower content validity in these items was due to double negation. Following linguistic modifications, the CVR values improved (range: 0.87–1.0), indicating content and semantic stability. Our findings underscore the importance of considering content validity and language specificity, including issues like double negation, during cross-cultural questionnaire validation to mitigate potential psychometric concerns in the future. The adapted Czech version exhibits significant content validity, thereby warranting further validation of its psychometric properties. Full article
18 pages, 1116 KiB  
Article
Health Literacy of Children and Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Parents of IBD Patients—Coping and Information Needs
by Kalina Kaul, Stefan Schumann, Cornelia Sander, Jan Däbritz and Jan de Laffolie
Children 2024, 11(4), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040481 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Background: The number of children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing. Many chronically ill children and adolescents have low health literacy. Patient empowerment (PE) enables positive changes and control over one’s disease through specific activities, information, and counseling. The CEDNA [...] Read more.
Background: The number of children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing. Many chronically ill children and adolescents have low health literacy. Patient empowerment (PE) enables positive changes and control over one’s disease through specific activities, information, and counseling. The CEDNA (IBD Needs Assessment) Survey aimed to provide the necessary data to improve PE in pediatric IBD (PIBD). Methods: Questionnaires were distributed to adolescent IBD patients and parents of children and adolescents with IBD throughout Germany. The answers were given anonymously. Based on the available data, a subgroup analysis was conducted in relation to the age of the patients and the period since diagnosis. For the parents’ responses, the same age groups were analyzed for comparison with the patients’ responses. Results: From October 2021 to April 2022, 2810 questionnaires were distributed and 1158 questionnaires were completed (n = 708 parents [61.1%], n = 450 patients [38.9%]). The results indicate that health literacy in children with IBD is low. Significant gaps in knowledge of important IBD topics were identified, and a comparison of responses regarding preferred methods and timing of obtaining information revealed differences between patient and parent preferences. The greatest need for knowledge on IBD topics was found in the group of 16–17-year-old patients on transition (n = 214, 31.8%) and in the group of patients diagnosed 1–2 years ago on the causes of IBD (n = 288, 17.4%). The willingness to seek advice was unexpectedly low. Conclusions: The analysis of all findings according to the patient’s age structure and duration since diagnosis can be used to enable age-appropriate communication at certain stages of the disease. This tailored information should increase patients’ health literacy, improve their management of the disease, and reduce the burden on their families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behaviour, Health Literacy and Mental Health in Children)
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13 pages, 1475 KiB  
Review
Efficacy of Kinesiotape to Improve Upper-Extremity Function in Children and Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review
by Victoria Calvo-Fuente, Concepción Soto-Vidal, Ana Ramón-Corcoba, Ester Cerezo-Téllez, Yolanda Pérez-Martín and Soraya Pacheco-da-Costa
Children 2024, 11(4), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040480 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 780
Abstract
Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the primary causes of physical disabilities in children that affects posture and movement. Upper-extremity (UE) function is frequently impaired, which may result in activity and participation limitations in people with CP. The use of kinesiotape (KT) [...] Read more.
Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the primary causes of physical disabilities in children that affects posture and movement. Upper-extremity (UE) function is frequently impaired, which may result in activity and participation limitations in people with CP. The use of kinesiotape (KT) has increased in the treatment of CP for various purposes. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the efficacy of KT for improving UE function in children and adolescents with CP. Methods: The literature search was carried out in PubMed, Cochrane, PEDro, Web of Science and SCOPUS databases. The methodological quality was analyzed with the PEDro scale. Review Manager (RevMan 5.4.1) was used for data extraction and risk of bias assessment. Results: A total of five randomized clinical trials were included. The use of KT showed improvement in UE functionality in three studies, with significant outcomes for range of motion (ROM) (three studies), fine motor skills (two studies), grip strength (one study) and manual dexterity (one study). Moreover, it also showed significant improvements in spasticity and gross motor function (one study). Overall, methodological quality was moderate, and the risk of bias was high in the domains related to blinding. Conclusion: The use of KT showed improvement in UE function in children and adolescents with CP. However, further research is needed to reinforce the conclusions on the efficacy of KT as a therapeutic tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Child Neurology)
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11 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
How Does a 12-Week Physical Exercise Program Affect the Motor Proficiency and Cognitive Abilities of Overweight and Normal-Weight Preschool Children?
by Borko Katanic, Aleksandra Aleksic Veljkovic, Radivoje Radakovic, Nenad Stojiljkovic, Mihai Olanescu, Miruna Peris, Adrian Suciu and Danut Popa
Children 2024, 11(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040479 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 699
Abstract
The objective of this research was to examine a 12-week exercise program and its impact on the motor proficiency and cognitive abilities of preschool children with overweight and normal weight. The study involved a total of 71 participants who were preschool children enrolled [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to examine a 12-week exercise program and its impact on the motor proficiency and cognitive abilities of preschool children with overweight and normal weight. The study involved a total of 71 participants who were preschool children enrolled in a longitudinal study. Body mass index (BMI) was determined by measuring body height and weight, and the nutritional status of the children was assessed using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) criteria. Motor proficiency encompasses both motor abilities and motor skills, and the assessment of motor abilities was conducted using subtests from the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2). These subtests measured fine motor integration, manual dexterity, balance, and bilateral coordination. The evaluation of motor skills involved the utilization of the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2), which examines both locomotor skills and manipulative skills. Cognitive abilities were assessed using the School Maturity Test (TZS). All participants, regardless of weight status, took part in a 12-week physical exercise program. According to the World Health Organization’s criteria, 52 children (73.2%) were categorized as having a normal weight, while 19 children (26.8%) were classified as overweight. These findings indicate that every fourth child in the study was overweight. Using a statistical analysis called SPANOVA (2 × 2, group × time), differences were observed in three out of eleven variables. Specifically, there were significant differences in two motor skill variables: manipulative skills (p = 0.006) and total movement skills (p = 0.014). Additionally, there was a significant difference in one cognitive ability variable: visual memory (p = 0.010). No significant differences were found in the remaining variables. The findings of this study aimed to contribute to the understanding of the potential benefits of regular exercise on motor and cognitive development in preschool children, specifically examining the differences between overweight and normal-weight children. By investigating these effects, the study could provide valuable insights for educators, parents, and health professionals involved in promoting the overall well-being of preschool-aged children. Regular physical exercise has been found to have positive effects on motor and cognitive abilities in both overweight and normal-weight preschool children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Development in Children and Adolescence)
13 pages, 975 KiB  
Article
Family Income and Child Depression: The Chain Mediating Effect of Parental Involvement, Children’s Self-Esteem, and Group Differences
by Xi Quan, Hanning Lei, Chengwei Zhu, Yun Wang, Furong Lu and Cai Zhang
Children 2024, 11(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040478 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 821
Abstract
Family income is an important factor that affects depression in children and can indirectly be associated with children’s development through family and individual factors. However, few studies have examined the mechanism of multiple risk factors. Therefore, this study focused on the relationship between [...] Read more.
Family income is an important factor that affects depression in children and can indirectly be associated with children’s development through family and individual factors. However, few studies have examined the mechanism of multiple risk factors. Therefore, this study focused on the relationship between family income and child depression, as well as the chain mediating the roles of parental involvement and children’s self-esteem both in single-parent families and intact families. A total of 1355 primary school students completed questionnaires that assessed family income, parental involvement, children’s self-esteem, and depression. The results showed that family income influenced child depression through both the mediating roles of parental involvement and children’s self-esteem and the chain mediating role of parental involvement and children’s self-esteem. Meanwhile, family income only influenced child depression through chain mediation in single-parent families. The group differences in the mechanism of depression provide a reference for empirical research on depression intervention in children from different family structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
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20 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
Using Implementation Research to Inform Scaling of Parenting Programs: Independently Conducted Case Studies from Zambia and Bhutan
by Frances Aboud, Karma Choden, Given Hapunda, Francis Sichimba, Ania Chaluda, Rafael Contreras Gomez, Rachel Hatch, Sara Dang, Karma Dyenka, Cecilia Banda and Carina Omoeva
Children 2024, 11(4), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040477 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 893
Abstract
Two case studies of parenting programs for parents of children 0 to 36 months of age, developed and implemented by Save the Children/Ministry of Health/Khesar Gyalpo University in Bhutan and UNICEF Zambia, were conducted by an independent research group. The focus was on [...] Read more.
Two case studies of parenting programs for parents of children 0 to 36 months of age, developed and implemented by Save the Children/Ministry of Health/Khesar Gyalpo University in Bhutan and UNICEF Zambia, were conducted by an independent research group. The focus was on how program delivery and scale-up were revised on the basis of feedback from implementation research. Feedback on workforce delivery quality was based on observations of deliveries using a monitoring form, as well as survey and interview data collected from the workforce. In-depth interviews with the resource team during the fourth year of implementation revealed how the feedback was used to address horizontal and vertical scaling. Delivery quality was improved in some cases by revising the delivery manual, offering refresher courses, and instituting regular monitoring. Scaling challenges in Zambia included slow progress with regard to reaching families in the two districts, which they addressed by trialing group sessions, and stemming workforce attrition. The challenges in Bhutan were low attendance and reducing the workload of providers. Vertical scaling challenges for both countries concerned maintaining demand through continuous advocacy at community and government levels to sustain financing and to show effectiveness in outcomes. Full article
19 pages, 1461 KiB  
Review
Risk Factors of Malnutrition among In-School Children and Adolescents in Developing Countries: A Scoping Review
by Mustapha Amoadu, Susanna Aba Abraham, Abdul Karim Adams, William Akoto-Buabeng, Paul Obeng and John Elvis Hagan, Jr.
Children 2024, 11(4), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040476 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 973
Abstract
Malnutrition among in-school children is a complex issue influenced by socio-economic, environmental, and health-related factors, posing significant challenges to their well-being and educational trajectories in developing countries. This review synthesized evidence on the multifaceted aspects of child malnutrition within the educational setting in [...] Read more.
Malnutrition among in-school children is a complex issue influenced by socio-economic, environmental, and health-related factors, posing significant challenges to their well-being and educational trajectories in developing countries. This review synthesized evidence on the multifaceted aspects of child malnutrition within the educational setting in developing countries. This review followed the six steps outlined by Arksey and O’Malley’s framework. Four main databases (PubMed, CENTRAL, JSTOR, and Scopus) were searched. Additional searches were conducted in WHO Library, ProQuest, HINARI, Google Scholar, and Google. Reference lists of eligible papers were checked. This review found that low family income, varying family sizes, parental employment status, and educational levels significantly impact malnutrition among in-school children and adolescents. Environmental elements, including rural/urban residence, household sanitation, and living conditions, also influence malnutrition. In addition, nutrition knowledge, dietary habits, nutrient deficiencies, physical activity, and prevalent health conditions compound the risk of malnutrition. This study underscores the extensive health impact of malnutrition on general health, specific nutrient deficiencies, fetal/maternal health concerns, and overall morbidity. Also, malnutrition affects school performance and attendance, impacting cognitive abilities, and academic achievements. Addressing these challenges requires comprehensive policy actions aligned with Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing poverty alleviation, health literacy, and gender equity. Full article
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15 pages, 3180 KiB  
Article
Growth and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Preterm Infants Born < 26 Weeks Gestation before and after Implementation of a Nutrition-Care Bundle
by Giulia Res, Rosine F. Bishara, Paige Terrien Church, Rena Rosenthal, Rita Maria Bishara, Annie Dupuis, Elizabeth Asztalos and Rudaina Banihani
Children 2024, 11(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040475 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 925
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to assess the impact of a nutrition-care bundle on growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes of micro-preterm infants born in a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) by two years corrected age. Methods: A nutrition-care bundle emphasizing the prompt initiation [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to assess the impact of a nutrition-care bundle on growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes of micro-preterm infants born in a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) by two years corrected age. Methods: A nutrition-care bundle emphasizing the prompt initiation of parenteral nutrition at birth, initiation of enteral feeds within 6 h after birth, and early addition of human milk fortifiers was implemented in 2015 for infants born < 26 weeks gestation. This before-and-after study evaluated growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants born between 2012–2013 (before-nutrition-bundle, BNB) and 2016–2017 (after-nutrition-bundle, ANB). Results: A total of 145 infants were included in the study. Infants in the ANB group (n = 73) were smaller (birthweight and gestational age), and there were more male infants and multiples included compared to the BNB group (n = 72). Enteral feeds and fortifiers started earlier in the ANB group. Growth velocity and weight z-score changes were similar in both groups during NICU stay and post-discharge. Systemic steroid use, but not cohort, was linked to lower Bayley scores across all domains. Conclusions: Implementing a nutrition-care bundle was not consistently associated with improved weight gain and neurodevelopmental outcomes in the micro-preterm infant population, possibly due to ongoing high-quality nutritional care by the clinical team. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Care and Outcome of the Extreme Preterm Infant)
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11 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
An Investigation into the Prevalence of Enamel Hypoplasia in an Urban Area Based on the Types and Affected Teeth
by Valbona Disha, Marin Zaimi, Elizana Petrela and Fatbardha Aliaj
Children 2024, 11(4), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040474 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 838
Abstract
Enamel hypoplasia (EH) is a qualitative defect, and it can have a significant impact on oral health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of enamel hypoplasia in urban area in Albania. Methodology: In total, 234 children of both sexes [...] Read more.
Enamel hypoplasia (EH) is a qualitative defect, and it can have a significant impact on oral health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of enamel hypoplasia in urban area in Albania. Methodology: In total, 234 children of both sexes aged 8–12 years old were randomly selected in five schools in Tirana, Albania. They underwent an intra-oral examination. Diagnostic criteria were in accordance with a European meeting on MIH held in Athens, 2003, and the FDI. Medical history was retrieved using questionnaires, and data obtained from clinical examination were recorded. Results: The prevalence of enamel hypoplasia was 12.8%. The most commonly occurring enamel hypoplasia was the mild type (58.62%). The mandibular first molar showed the highest prevalence of enamel hypoplasia (19.5%), and the maxillary canines and premolars were the least affected (2.3%). In this study, medical story did not have a significant effect on enamel hypoplasia. Conclusions: The prevalence of enamel hypoplasia remains high at 12.8%. Interestingly, the features of enamel hypoplasia were consistent across both sexes, with no correlation found between them. The predominant occurrence of mild enamel hypoplasia underscores the importance of implementing oral hygiene strategies in schools to mitigate its progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Epidemiology and Pathology in Children)
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19 pages, 661 KiB  
Systematic Review
Comparing Executive Functions in Children and Adolescents with Autism and ADHD—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Claudia Ceruti, Alessandra Mingozzi, Nicoletta Scionti and Gian Marco Marzocchi
Children 2024, 11(4), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11040473 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Two neurodevelopmental conditions, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), have been associated with executive function (EF) impairments but the specificity of their impairments is still controversial. The present meta-analysis aimed to identify the differences in EF profiles of ASD, [...] Read more.
Two neurodevelopmental conditions, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), have been associated with executive function (EF) impairments but the specificity of their impairments is still controversial. The present meta-analysis aimed to identify the differences in EF profiles of ASD, ADHD, and ASD+ADHD in relation to a control group of individuals with typical development (TD) and to understand whether the EF performance could change depending upon the type of measure used to assess EF (performance tests vs. questionnaires). Results from 36 eligible studies revealed that ADHD and ASD showed more difficulties than the TD group in tests and, particularly, in questionnaires. No significant differences in the EF profile emerged between ASD and ADHD when assessed through neuropsychological tests (d = 0.02), while significant differences emerged when assessed through questionnaires, with ADHD having higher ratings than ASD (d = −0.34). EF questionnaires and neuropsychological tests may catch two different constructs of EF, with the former being more predictive of everyday life EF impairments. The comparison between the double diagnosis group (ADHD+ASD) and the clinical groups pointed out that the former has a more similar EF profile to the ADHD-alone one and that it shows more difficulties than ASD-alone. Full article
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