Background Food allergy is major public health concern affecting nearly 15 million Americans and 80 million Europeans. Risk of anaphylaxis and implications for social activities affect patients' quality of life and psychological well-being. We previously found that young patients reported higher levels of alexithymia (difficulty in recognizing and expressing emotions) compared with healthy peers and may influence affect, management style and clinical outcomes. This study aimed to explore links between coping strategies, alexithymia and anxiety among food-allergic adolescents and young adults. Methods Ninety-two patients with IgE-mediated food allergy (mean age 18.6 years) completed Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory, Toronto Alexithymia Scale and Trait Anxiety subscale of State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Multivariate analyses of variance assessed differences and associations between subgroups on the scales. Results Significant differences found between alexithymia levels in coping style were explained by Avoidance strategies. ‘Avoidance’ had the highest contribution in explaining alexithymia, followed by trait anxiety, age, anaphylaxis and social support. Respondents with higher alexithymia use avoidance as coping strategy over and above other coping strategies such as problem-solving and positive thinking, are younger, will have experienced anaphylaxis and will have lower social support. Conclusions Recognizing the specific role of affect regulation in health behaviours may constitute an important step in supporting patients to explore more adaptive strategies

Coping strategies, alexithymia and anxiety in young patients with food allergy

POLLONI, LAURA;FERRUZZA, EMILIA;BONAGURO, ROBERTA;LAZZAROTTO, FRANCESCA;TONIOLO, ALICE;MURARO, MARIA ANTONELLA
2017

Abstract

Background Food allergy is major public health concern affecting nearly 15 million Americans and 80 million Europeans. Risk of anaphylaxis and implications for social activities affect patients' quality of life and psychological well-being. We previously found that young patients reported higher levels of alexithymia (difficulty in recognizing and expressing emotions) compared with healthy peers and may influence affect, management style and clinical outcomes. This study aimed to explore links between coping strategies, alexithymia and anxiety among food-allergic adolescents and young adults. Methods Ninety-two patients with IgE-mediated food allergy (mean age 18.6 years) completed Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory, Toronto Alexithymia Scale and Trait Anxiety subscale of State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Multivariate analyses of variance assessed differences and associations between subgroups on the scales. Results Significant differences found between alexithymia levels in coping style were explained by Avoidance strategies. ‘Avoidance’ had the highest contribution in explaining alexithymia, followed by trait anxiety, age, anaphylaxis and social support. Respondents with higher alexithymia use avoidance as coping strategy over and above other coping strategies such as problem-solving and positive thinking, are younger, will have experienced anaphylaxis and will have lower social support. Conclusions Recognizing the specific role of affect regulation in health behaviours may constitute an important step in supporting patients to explore more adaptive strategies
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3240782
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