Background Food allergy is a common immunologic disease that includes potentially fatal reactions. It impacts considerably on patients’ social life including close interpersonal relationships. Attachment theory provides a theoretic framework to evaluate the quality of close interpersonal relationships in chronic disorders. Attachment insecurity, mainly characterized by attachment avoidance, has been found in a variety of health conditions, but still needs to be investigated in food allergy. The study aimed to investigate attachment, as attitude to close interpersonal relationships, among food-allergic young patients, compared to healthy controls. Methods This is a cross-sectional study involving patients suffering from IgE-mediated food allergy sequentially recruited and matched to healthy controls for age and gender. The Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) was used to assess five factors and two attachment dimensions (Anxiety-Avoidance). Associations with anaphylaxis and adrenaline prescription were explored among patients. Results 174 participants were assessed (female=45%; mean age=17.51; SD=4.26). Food-allergic patients reported significantly higher levels of Discomfort with Closeness (P<.05), Relationships as Secondary (P<.05) and Attachment Avoidance (P<.0001) compared to controls. Conclusions Clinicians should be aware of implications of insecure attachment for health and illness. They should support patients in limiting social impairment finding a balance between safety and psychologic well-being.

Food allergy and attitudes to close interpersonal relationships: An exploratory study on attachment

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

Abstract

Background Food allergy is a common immunologic disease that includes potentially fatal reactions. It impacts considerably on patients’ social life including close interpersonal relationships. Attachment theory provides a theoretic framework to evaluate the quality of close interpersonal relationships in chronic disorders. Attachment insecurity, mainly characterized by attachment avoidance, has been found in a variety of health conditions, but still needs to be investigated in food allergy. The study aimed to investigate attachment, as attitude to close interpersonal relationships, among food-allergic young patients, compared to healthy controls. Methods This is a cross-sectional study involving patients suffering from IgE-mediated food allergy sequentially recruited and matched to healthy controls for age and gender. The Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) was used to assess five factors and two attachment dimensions (Anxiety-Avoidance). Associations with anaphylaxis and adrenaline prescription were explored among patients. Results 174 participants were assessed (female=45%; mean age=17.51; SD=4.26). Food-allergic patients reported significantly higher levels of Discomfort with Closeness (P<.05), Relationships as Secondary (P<.05) and Attachment Avoidance (P<.0001) compared to controls. Conclusions Clinicians should be aware of implications of insecure attachment for health and illness. They should support patients in limiting social impairment finding a balance between safety and psychologic well-being.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3240783
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