Research Article  |   March 2017
Impact of PANS and PANDAS Exacerbations on Occupational Performance: A Mixed-Methods Study
Author Affiliations
  • Janice Trigilio Tona, PhD, OTR, is Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Director, Occupational Therapy Program, University at Buffalo, State University of New York; tona@buffalo.edu
  • Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, MS, OTR, is Doctoral Candidate, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
  • Denise Calaprice, PhD, is President, Calaprice-Whitty Consulting, Inc., Blue Jay, CA
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   March 2017
Impact of PANS and PANDAS Exacerbations on Occupational Performance: A Mixed-Methods Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2017, Vol. 71, 7103220020P1-7103220020P9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.022285
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2017, Vol. 71, 7103220020P1-7103220020P9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.022285
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) includes pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections and involves sudden-onset neuropsychiatric symptoms, including obsessions, compulsions, sensory difficulties, and dysgraphia after infection or other triggers. Our objective was to identify problems with areas of occupation, body functions, and performance skills during exacerbations.

METHOD. In this online retrospective study, based on the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (2nd ed.), we surveyed parents of 111 children with PANS.

RESULTS. Activities of daily living, math, handwriting, extracurricular activities, free play, organized sports, community and family social participation, higher level thinking, attention, memory, sequencing, emotional coping, and energy and drive were commonly affected during exacerbations. During exacerbations, children often required assistance and adaptation to remain functional or were unable to function at a typical level.

CONCLUSION. Children with PANS present with pervasive occupational performance needs during exacerbation. Children and families may benefit from accommodations to maximize function during this turbulent period.