The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2021 , Vol 63 , Num 5
COVID-19-related anxiety in phenylketonuria patients
Halil Tuna Akar 1 ,Yamaç Karaboncuk 2 ,Kısmet Çıkı 1 ,Ayça Burcu Kahraman 1 ,İzzet Erdal 1 ,Turgay Coşkun 1 ,Ayşegül Tokatlı 1 ,Ali Dursun 1 ,Yılmaz Yıldız 1 ,H. Serap Sivri 1
1 Department of Pediatric Metabolism and Nutrition Unit, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara
2 Ferhunde Öktem Mental Health Center, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.05.007 Background. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inherited disorder of amino acid metabolism, the treatment of which often requires a special diet to prevent adverse neuropsychiatric outcomes. In the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a substantial effect on the whole world since the beginning of 2020, PKU patients represent a vulnerable population because they may be dependent on special nutritional products, have limited access to routine care and display increased levels of anxiety.

Methods. For this reason, an online questionnaire assessing the anxiety levels and various personal opinions and practices regarding the pandemic was sent to the PKU patients managed at our clinic, who were 12 years of age or older. Ninety-eight patients responded to the questionnaire. Median age of the participants was 19 years.

Results. Most patients were compliant with the hygiene and social distancing recommendations regarding the spread of COVID-19. Of the patients, 61.2% felt more anxious since the pandemic. The most common concern was the possibility of not being able to obtain special nutritional products (58.2%). Anxiety level was significantly higher in females.

Conclusions. These data suggest that food security is an important issue of concern in PKU patients. In line with the changing world after the pandemic, different strategies should be considered in the management of patients with inborn errors of metabolism, including PKU. Keywords : COVID-19, phenylketonuria, anxiety

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