Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

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Psychological intervention in cyclic vomiting syndrome in adolescents: A case series

Mehak Sikand, Pragya Sharma


Objective: Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is difficult to diagnose, thus there is often a delay in diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. In the absence of an adequate understanding of the pathophysiology of the syndrome, it is under-recognised and treatment is difficult. The present case series aimed to assess and manage three adolescents with CVS.

Method: The Children’s Apperception Test was administered on the three Asian adolescents who were referred for the management of CVS to the Department of Clinical Psychology at a tertiary care hospital in New Delhi, India. A treatment module was developed to treat CVS in these adolescents.

Results: A strong link was found between the psychological stressors and their physical manifestations in the episodes of vomiting. Therapeutic management with a focus on behavioural modification, adaptive coping skills, and a healthy therapeutic relationship was found to be efficacious in gradually remitting this condition.

Conclusions: Thus, the focus of treatment in cases of CVS should be to understand the psychological underpinning and help the adolescents to incorporate healthy coping strategies.

AJOL African Journals Online