Prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Symptoms in Children Presenting with Foreign Body Ingestion: A Case-Control Study

Foreign body ingestion (FBI) is one of the common causes of emergency admissions in infancy and childhood. Although the large majority of children who present with the FBI have no psychiatric diagnosis, present studies demonstrate that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related psychiatric problems might be a risk factor for FBI. This study aimed to compare the demographic variables and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder levels and sluggish cognitive tempo symptoms (ADHD-SCT) in children who ingested foreign bodies with healthy children. Also, we aimed to address the relationship between ADHD-SCT symptoms and the age of FBI. The FBI group comprised 44 children (age 2-8, median age: 5, 68.2% boys) admitted to the emergency, pediatric surgery, and pediatric gastroenterology department after FBI, and the healthy control group comprised 30 children (age 3-8, median age: 6, 56.7% boys). We administered the sociodemographic information form, SNAP-IV ADHD rating scale, and Barkley’s child SCT ratings scale to both groups of parents. Our results demonstrated that maternal education level was significantly lower in the FBI group, although other demographic characteristics of the samples were similar (p=0.023). In addition, ADHD-hyperactivity/impulsivity scores were significantly higher in the FBI group (p=0.01). Still, there were no significant differences in ADHD-inattention, SCT-daydreaming, and SCT-sluggishness scores (for all, p>0.05). We found positive-moderate relationships between SCT-daydreaming and sluggishness symptoms and FBI age (r=0.314, r=0.348, respectively). This means that higher SCT scores are related to an older FBI age. In conclusion, for the first time, we evaluated the ADHD and SCT symptoms in young children against FBI and found that ADHD-hyperactivity, but not ADHD-inattention symptoms, were significantly higher in the FBI group, and SCT symptoms increase the risk of FBI at an older age. In addition, we found that a lower maternal education level could be an additional risk factor for FBI. Despite the high hyperactivity in the FBI group, the low rate of child psychiatry evaluation should be considered when evaluating a child.