Children with functional gastrointestinal disorders with and without co-existing nausea: A comparison of clinical and psychological characteristics

Clara M. A. de Bruijn*, Anne Geijtenbeek, Pamela D. Browne, Marc A. Benninga, Arine M. Vlieger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Nausea co-existing with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) has been suggested to negatively impact physical and psychological factors in children. This study aims to compare clinical and psychological characteristics of a large cohort of pediatric patients with an FGID with and without nausea. Methods: Patients of two previous randomized controlled trials were included, the first assessing the effect of hypnotherapy (HT) in 260 children fulfilling Rome criteria of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or functional abdominal pain (FAP), the second examining the effect of HT in 100 children with nausea in children with either functional nausea (FN) or functional dyspepsia (FD). At inclusion, demographics, clinical features, including the presence of nausea, depression and anxiety, somatization, and health-related quality of life (QoL) were assessed in patients. Key Results: In total, 355 patients with IBS (n = 131), FAP (n = 127), FN (n = 62), and FD (n = 35) were included, of which 255 (72%) patients experienced nausea versus 100 (28%) without nausea. Age at onset of symptoms was higher in children experiencing nausea (12.0y vs. 9.0y, p = 0.000). Significantly higher somatization, anxiety and depression scores, and lower health-related QoL were reported for children with nausea. There were no significant differences between children with only nausea and children with nausea and abdominal pain. Conclusions and Inferences: Children with nausea, either with or without abdominal pain, report higher somatization scores, increased anxiety and depression, and lower overall QoL, compared to children with pain-related FGIDs without accompanying nausea. Addressing the presence of nausea in children with FGIDs seems essential to customize their treatment and improve overall quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

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