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Year: 2003  Vol. 7   Num. 4  - Oct/Dec Print:
Original Article
Texto Text in Portuguese
Emotional Aspects of Vestibular Disease in Children: Preliminary Results
Aspectos Emocionais da Criana Portadora de Vestibulopatias: Achados Preliminares Baseados em Desenhos e Histrias.
Rosa Maria Rodrigues dos Santos*, talo Roberto Torres de Medeiros**, Roseli Saraiva Moreira Bittar***.
Key words:
dizziness, vertigo, children, psychology.

Introduction: Childhood vestibular disorder is related to emotional and behavioral problems, which can hinder social development and integration. Few studies have addressed these psychological issues associated to dizziness. Objective: To shed some light on the issue based on the psychological evaluations performed on pediatric patients from the Otoneurology Clinic of the ENT Department of the Hospital das Clnicas of the University of So Paulo. Methods: Twelve children, ages 5 to 12, (6 boys, 6 girls) were assessed through parental and patient interviews, and the observation of playtime as well as Bender or Pre-Bender (visual-motor coordination); WISC or Columbia (intelligence) tests, all performed by a certified psychologist. Each child was asked to draw a picture of a family and another free-theme drawing and then requested to tell a story about each one. Results: Only one child presented an altered performance on the cognitive and visual-motor coordination tests. However, their drawings showed a distinctive pattern of common traits such as positioning on the bottom edge of the paper and a marked disproportion of body appendages. Conclusions: There is a psychological stamp of fragility linked to the feeling of unbalance experienced by these children and that this frailty is amplified by the handicapped treatment received from other family members. Therefore, psychological counseling may be an important aspect of the social and emotional reintegration of these patients.



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