Akron Children's, Kent State team up to explore anxiety disorders in kids

Children’s, KSU study anxiety disorders in kids

Sumru Bilge-Johnson, MD


Akron Children’s Hospital and Kent State University are collaborating on a study investigating risk factors and treatment for children with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), hair pulling and related problems.

The researchers are screening children 9 to 17 years old who:

Even children who have just one symptom on this checklist may be eligible for the study, which is led by Christopher Flessner, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Kent State, and Sumru Bilge-Johnson, M.D., a pediatric psychiatrist at Akron Children’s.

“Through this study we are hoping to gain a better understanding of potential risk factors that may be linked to the development of OCD, other anxiety disorders and hair pulling,” said Dr. Flessner. “We are interested in learning if some of these symptoms run in families.”

According to Dr. Bilge-Johnson, it is important to diagnose these conditions early in children.

“OCD and hair pulling can go unrecognized and become more severe if not treated,” she said. “They can also lead to depression and other mental health problems.”

The study involves a diagnostic assessment for OCD, playing a computer game, and written and verbal feedback, such as possible diagnoses, treatment options and referrals, if the child qualifies. Not all children will qualify for the study.

For more information, call the Child Anxiety Research Program at Kent State at 330-672-2200.

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Study with @kentstateuniv investigates risk factors & treatment for OCD, anxiety in kids

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