DURING a two month period, 11 small children with edema due to the degenerative stage of glomerular nephritis were referred to the Clinic for Renal Disease of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Without exception, the care of these children was complicated by psychologic difficulties caused by unwarranted anxiety on the part of their parents. It is our purpose to discuss this problem and to suggest methods of prevention and treatment.
The anxiety of the parents uniformly arose as the result of fear and ignorance of the disease and its manifestations and from ill advised, and sometimes inaccurate, information obtained from physicians and from misinformation in the newspapers. Most of the parents firmly believed that the degenerative stage of glomerular nephritis with edema is invariably fatal. Many were told by physicians that no treatment is of use and were instructed merely to make their children comfortable until the end. Some