The psychosocial impact of life-threatening childhood food allergies
College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.Pediatric nursing 11/2012; 38(6):327-30.
The purpose of this integrated literature review was to bring understanding to medical professionals of the psychosocial impact of parenting a child with life-threatening food allergies. Prevalence of life-threatening food allergy among children is increasing, and families continue to navigate the effects it can have on all members of a family. A comprehensive literature review was performed related to chronic childhood illnesses and life-threatening food allergies. Commonalities among the conditions exist related to stress, coping, and adaptive responses when parental perceptions and experiences are considered. This information may provide a conceptual context for the adaptation process involved with parenting a young child with life-threatening food allergies, revealing areas where nursing can serve to intervene and support this process.
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ABSTRACT: Stress-induced cytokine changes may be the link between stress and the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders such as depression, and organic diseases such as infections, autoimmune diseases and cancer. We tested the effect of stress on interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-22, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ serum levels in male Wistar rats. Rats underwent either acute stress by forced swimming (N = 8), chronic restraint stress (N = 8), or were not subjected to any stress (N = 8). IL-2 serum levels were significantly higher in forced swimming, but not in restraint stress rats, compared to non-stressed rats. IL-4, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α levels were higher in both forced swimming and restraint stress compared to non-stressed rats. IFN-γ production was significantly decreased by restraint stress, but not by forced swimming. IL-22 was not affected significantly by either stress condition. Alterations in the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α may indicate a pathophysiological pathway from acute and chronic stress to the development of depression. Changes in IL-4 and IL-10 may link acute and chronic stress to autoimmune disorders, allergies or cancer. The reported changes in IFN-γ could provide an explanation for the higher susceptibility to infection seen in life periods associated with sustained levels of stress.
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ABSTRACT: Food induced anaphylaxis (FIA) is a serious medical event and managing it can place tremendous mental, emotional and financial burdens on parents of children with FIA. Using grounded theory methods, the experiences of parents caring for a child with FIA and the adjustments and strategies used to effectively manage a child's diagnosis were examined. Findings revealed once a child is diagnosed with FIA, parental competency is often severely challenged, calling into question parents' ability to succeed in the parenting role. To regain parental competency, parents engage in a 3 phase process to learn how to parent a child with FIA.
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