The following is a summary of “Comparison of mental health in individuals with primary ciliary dyskinesia, cystic fibrosis, and parent caregivers,” published in the FEBRUARY 2023 issue of Pulmonology by Graziano, et al.

Caretakers and those with chronic respiratory conditions are more likely to experience despair and anxiety. Both cystic fibrosis (CF) and primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) are uncommon hereditary disorders that are characterized by recurrent respiratory infections. Using the screening instruments suggested in the CF recommendations, researchers, for a study, evaluated depression and anxiety in persons with PCD (pwPCD) and CF (pwCF), as well as caretakers.

A PCD and CF sample was given the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) questionnaires. They were matched 1:2 on age and sex to pwCF due to the exceptional rarity of PCD. With parents, the same processes were carried out.

About 63 patients with PCD and 42 patients with CF (aged 12 to 34) participated in the study, together with 129 carers: 43 caregivers for PCD patients and 86 caregivers for CF patients. For both moderate depression (PCD: 33%; CF: 43%) and anxiety (PCD and CF both: 43%), a significant portion of individuals scored over the cutoff. The percentage of caregivers who scored over the cutoff in both depression (PCD: 42–54%; CF: 45–46%) and anxiety (PCD: 47–54%; CF: 39–56%) was also high. In addition, 5% of pwCF, 3% of mothers, but no dads, supported suicidal thoughts, as did 9.5% of pwPCD, 20% of mothers, and 10% of fathers.

Patients and caregivers both expressed high levels of psychological anguish and suicidal thoughts. Given that they were linked to poor adherence, missed clinic appointments, increased inflammation, and a lower quality of life, treating psychological symptoms was essential. PCD care should include mental health screening and therapy.