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Noémi Scheuring, Ildikó Danis, Eszter Papp, Pálma Benedek, Tünde Németh, Ágnes Gulácsi, László Szabó
(Department of Pediatrics, Heim Pál National Pediatric Institute, Budapest, Hungary)
Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e930214
Regulation disorders are already apparent in infancy. The For Healthy Offspring Project was the first Hungarian study aimed at building an effective model for screening and examining the prevalence and complex (medical and psychosocial) background of classic behavior regulation disorders (excessive crying, feeding, and sleep problems) in infancy.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data were collected from families of 0- to 3-year-old children in a pediatric hospital and its neighboring areas through questionnaires, medical examinations, and individual and small-group consultations.
RESULTS: In the questionnaire study about their children’s behavior (n=1133), 15% of mothers reported excessive crying, 16% reported feeding problems, and 10% reported sleep problems. In a subsample (n=619) in which medical examinations were also conducted, the prevalence of medical diagnoses was 15.0% for excessive crying, 15.2% for sleep disorders, 10.3% for breastfeeding difficulties, and 14.8% for feeding disorders. Children who were referred to the screening program (n=183) had significantly more behavior regulation disorders than the other children in our study. Regulation disorders were found to be comorbid with other health conditions in some cases.
CONCLUSIONS: We developed a complex model to screen for regulatory problems in early childhood. This study adds more information about the relationship between regulation problems and other health conditions. The general incidence (5-15%) of early childhood regulation disorders in other countries is likely similar to that found in Hungary. In order to effectively recognize early regulation disorders, diagnostic instruments widely used in the international field should be adapted in general Hungarian pediatric care.