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Health Soc Work. 2005 Nov;30(4):325-35.

Anaphylaxis: how do you live with it?

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  • 1Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


This article reports on a study of the needs of families coping with life-threatening allergies in a child. Due to the scarcity of publications on the psychosocial dimensions of anaphylaxis, the authors draw on selected literature on family coping with chronic illness, asthma, and allergy to provide a conceptual context for the research and discussion of findings. Using qualitative methodology, parents from 17 families were interviewed about their experiences adjusting to a diagnosis of anaphylaxis in a child. From participants' responses about the nature and sources of information and support, parenting dilemmas, family activities, anxieties, challenges, and coping strategies, the authors identify patterns in the adaptive processes related to predictable developmental and episodic events that increase anxiety and support needs. Social work clinicians and other family-serving professionals can help families maintain an optimal balance between protective and debilitating anxiety. Potential interventions in community and health settings are suggested.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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