Burden and risk factors of anxiety disorders among Arabic pediatric population: A systematic review
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Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medical Rehabilitation Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, SAUDI ARABIA
Online publication date: 2023-01-19
Publication date: 2023-03-01
Electron J Gen Med 2023;20(2):em455
In the general population, where 6 to 20% of individuals experience anxiety disorders, children also experience a higher burden of anxiety. We undertook a systematic review In order to examine and summarize the results from studies that estimated the prevalence of anxiety and/or its associated risk factors in the pediatric populations of Arab nations, primarily the gulf countries.

Any study that focused on the pediatric population and completed in Arab nations to determine the incidence of anxiety and/or its risk factors among children under the age of 18. The review had 13 articles were included.

The results of the systematic review found that there was a wide variation in the prevalence of anxiety among children. At least 30.2% of the children were found to suffer from anxiety and the prevalence could go up to 60% in some countries with a higher prevalence among girls than boys. Associated factors of anxiety were diverse including exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, parenting style, living with parents suffering from mental disorders, school type, and being female.

The findings of the review demonstrate the higher prevalence of anxiety among children as almost at least one-third of children suffer from anxiety in the Gulf countries. The program managers and the respective government of these Arab countries need to devise some strategies and interventions that not only focus on the children but also their environment.

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