A case study of young patients affected by Turner syndrome: competency and psychopathology

Studio casistico di giovani pazienti affette da sindrome di Turner: competenze e psicopatologia

M. Gatta1, R. Pertile2, P.A. Battistella2

1 Department of Paediatrics, University of Padua, Italy; 2 Epidemiological Survey, Local Public Health Service, Trento, Italy; 3 Neuropsychiatric Unit, Azienda ULSS 16 Padua, Italy


This study’s purpose was to evaluate psychological and affective- relational characteristics in a group of pre adolescents and adolescents affected by Turner syndrome, with the aim to focus on the importance of a multidisciplinary intervention.

Materials and methods

A group of 47 girls affected by Turner syndrome and a group of 47 healthy girls were enrolled. The age of the subjects was between 10 and 19 years. In order to evaluate emotional and social aspects in Turner girls compared to healthy girls, a semistructured interview was conducted to collect personal data, family, psycho-social, extra-school habits and therapeutic intervention. Furthermore, in order to evaluate psychopathological dimensions, T. Achenbach’s Youth Self Report was administered to patients and controls.


This study highlighted some critical aspects regarding Turner girls, like dissatisfaction with their appearance, the importance of the relationship with parents which influences both the acceptance of the illness and several other psycho-social aspects, difficulties with their peer groups, and the presence of psychopathological symptoms (internalizing problems rather than externalizing ones).


Patients undergoing a psychiatric/psychological consultation received benefits, particularly regarding social integration, self-fulfilment, and satisfaction with one’s own appearance. A multidisciplinary intervention is strongly suggested with patients affected by Turner syndrome, particularly in adolescent age.

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