SIRC – Media Watch 03-06-99

Chucking a sicky?

Published in the BMJ, a study by Nigel Williams of Leicester Royal Infirmary identified an increase in the number of abdominal complaints suffered by children aged 5-16 during term time. He concluded that the increase of 1.4% may be due to psychological and behavioural factors involved with the genesis and presentation of the condition. Out of 4,598 hospital visits, 643 had their appendix removed and 1,832 were sent home with the diagnosis of non-specific abdominal pain. Does it really come as much of a surprise that children appear to fake illness during term time? I for one am not shocked.