Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.10(2) > 1110183

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007 Sep;10(2):129-137. Korean.
Published online Sep 30, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Relationship of between Anxiety Tendency and Recurrent Abdominal Pain in Elementary School Children
Ji Young Moon and Kyung Rye Moon
Department of Pediatrics and Adolescents, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea.


It has been reported that children with chronic pain have higher levels of anxiety than age-matched controls. Therefore, this study was designed to determine the relationship between anxiety and recurrent abdominal pain in elementary school children.


In 2005, we surveyed 1,254 elementary school children (592 boys and 662 girls) whose ages ranged from 7 to 12 years. The degree of trait and state anxiety was compared between agroup suffering from intermittent abdominal pain, a group suffering from recurrent abdominal pain and a normal control group following the Korean version of Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory YZ form (STAI-YZ).


709 (56.5%) and 69 (5.5%) of the patients reported intermittent abdominal pain and and recurrent abdominal pain, respectively, during the 12 month period before this study was conducted, and trait and state anxiety values for each of these groups was 116 (9.3%) and 63 (5.0%), respectively. In addition, the State-Trait Anxiety score was significantly higher in the group with intermittent abdominal pain and RAP than the anxiety score of the normal control group. Additionally, the STAI-YZ score increased in proportion to the severity of abdominal pain, but was not correlated with the duration, frequency, onset time or location of abdominal pain. Furthermore, the proportion of the group with abdominal pain in the group that had trait or state anxiety was significantly higher than the proportion of the group that did not have trait and state anxiety.


Recurrent abdominal pain during childhood is correlated with state and trait anxiety, therefore, psychological factors, such as anxiety duringtreatment, must also be considered when determining the cause of recurrent abdominal pain.

Keywords: Recurrent abdominal pain; State-Trait Anxiety