Psychosocial Adjustment

Children with hydrocephalus experience behavioral and emotional problems at rates as high as 40%. These patients have physical handicaps and endure long-term monitoring and a variety of invasive procedures. Their level of functioning is affected by impairment in fine motor skills, executive functioning, learning, memory, language, and attention. These deficits may lead to problems in social competence and eventually to internalizing disorders. Most of the studies that focus on the emotional adjustment of hydrocephalus patients focus on those children with spina bifida. Nevertheless, it appears that patients with hydrocephalus who are shunted or who had shunt revisions are more likely to experience psychiatric disorders when compared with control subjects (Fletcher et al. 1995).

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