You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:59 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
From the front page of our site ...

Quote:
Those with children at risk of anaphylaxis know all too well that food allergies can cause parental stress. But now a team of British pyschologists has confirmed and quantified that anxiety.

In a survey of 120 parents at allergy centres in Nottingham and Birmingham, the psychologists found that 36 per cent of those questioned revealed clinical levels of anxiety about their child's allergy, while others were suffering from depression. The parents of allergic kids reported sleep loss from worry as well as upset stomachs. Dr. Rebecca Knibb, who led the study, is calling for more examination of how allergists deal with parents, suggesting that, at a minimum, parents are being given too much information during a single allergist's appointment.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I should have been a psychologist. They get paid to figure out that being the parent of a child with a life threatening health problem would be stressful.

Dr. Rebecca Knibb, who led the study, is calling for more examination of how allergists deal with parents, suggesting that, at a minimum, parents are being given too much information during a single allergist's appointment.

Does this mean that the stress levels are higher shortly after diagnosis? Even if it does - I still don't agree with the comment "parents are being given too much information during a single appointment". Information relieves my stress. Maybe parents are so stressed because they have to figure out how to live with this - and they aren't being given enough information.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:51 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Alberta, Canada
I fully agree with you AnnaMarie! When we went in for Josh's allergy testing I was so nervous and upset about the whole thing (he gets pricked with a needle how many times???!). Then we get in there and they do the test (he didn't even cry LOL) and they tell me he is definitaley anaphylactic to eggs heres the list of things to avoid, here's the epi-pen, and everyone in the family should be on an egg free diet. Have a nice day. I was like "Excuse me? You want me to take him home and not give him eggs?? It's in everything!?" I had sooo many questions and I phoned back about ten times the first week at home but the doctor NEVER phoned me back. He may not think my questions were important but they were to us. We felt like we had just been told to climb down a 20 story cliff and the rope was only 5 feet long. UGH!

What parent in their right mind wouldn't be stressed over something that could potentially kill their child? Every parent lives in fear that their kid will get run over or stolen by some maniac... why expect us to be more calm over something as simple and more immediate as giving your child an egg salad sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich and you could be planning their funeral the next week.

Frankly I think that study was a silly waste of time.
Robin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:09 pm 
I'm with AnnaMarie--I think being given information relieves stress. The fact that it is assumed in this study to be the other way around might point to a larger problem with the researchers' model of medical knowledge. I strongly feel that we as people with allergies need to have as much knowledge as possible about our condition. This is important not only because knowledge is empowering, but because medical knowledge does not fully account for all of our experiences.

When we walk into a doctor's office, we are seen through the lens provided through medical research. If a case doesn't fit with the prevailing theory, rather than question the theory, the natural response is to try to make the case fit the paradigm somehow. 'Chronic fatigue' for instance is one category by which illnesses which are not well understood can be conveniently defined. (I should note here that my understanding of the way scientific knowledge is defined is drawn from Thomas Kuhn's theory of historical change.)

I'm not criticizing this model of knowledge--this is how all scientific communities operate. But the question arises of what to do when medical theory (which is systematized empirical data) conflicts with the experience of individuals (which provides the empirical data on which medical theory is based). It should not automatically be assumed that medical science has all of the answers especially in a field like allergies which is constantly changing. To suggest (as this study seems to) that patients should be given less information about their case seems to promote a hierarchical model of medical knowledge. In my experience, many doctors do take patients' experiences into careful consideration, but others tend to be rather dismissive. (For example, one of my sisters had severe eczema when she was an infant, and an allergist gave my mother several different creams to apply. My sister had an immediate allergic reaction to the creams, and the doctor simply did not believe that that was possible. He wanted to put her in the hospital to have the nurses apply the medication 'properly'.)

(This is a bit of a digression: I think that the way that the strain on our medical system in Canada actually makes it difficult for doctors to be attentive to the details of each individual's medical history. Doctors are overworked and have too many patients (in my home town it is actually impossible right now to find a family doctor). The objective is often to get patients out of the office as soon as possible.)

In case anyone is still reading this long harangue :) I'll continue....

I do think that this study is valuable insofar as it suggests that the medical community could work on better addressing how allergies affect the whole of our lives. Yes, as AnnaMarie points out, the fact that life-threatening allergies might be stressful is obvious, but scientific studies provide the kind of knowledge that really counts in the medical community, so studies on the psychological impact of allergies are important. At the same time, I worry that studies of this type could support the tendency to dismiss our symptoms as merely produced by anxiety. Just because we might be anxious about our allergies does not mean that we do cannot make informed decisions about our health.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:47 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6462
Location: Ottawa
Did the psychologist actualy study how much info the parents were given? Did she have two groups which were given differing ammounts of information?
We were given a page on egg in foods, a page on milk in foods, a prescription for epi-pens a pamphlet from the lung association and an appointment in a years time.
The epi-pen instructions "...press against the outer thigh and hod for severa seconds..."(!?) how many is several? (actually check out the epi-pen website for better instructions and a short cartoon)
Perhaps an appointment to see a nutritionist shorty after the diagnosis would have been helpful, a list of food company phone numbers, a sampe of questions to ask the food company, common mistakes and pitfalls to be wary of, a recommended reading list, websites such as this...


Last edited by _Susan_ on Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
Yikes! Another "guest" post. I've got to fix that, too.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Sounds like I'm having a party. It's a byof. ;)

Guest - how about signing in and joining us. :) I found your post very interesting (and yes, I did read all of it.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I agree with that 'guest post'!


Last edited by Helen on Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
I to am over 30, well over 40 years
I was not even taught anything at all.
So when I went anaphylaplatic shock the( first time I remeber, I was 12)
I did not know a thing.
I do not know what Dad was told.
I only knew " do not eat Lobseter, " and he gave me the sample that caused the anaphylatic reaction.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 11:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Families Coping With A Diagnosis of of Anaphylaxis in a Child (2002)
a study by Deena Mandell, Ruth Curtis, Milton Gold, and Susan Hardie

(funding from Anaphylaxis Foundation of Canada, Wilfred Laurier University. research time provided by the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto)

http://www.anaphylaxis.org/pdf/Mandell.pdf

A really helpful study. I wonder whether it had much of an impact.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 11:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Just to add to my previous post--the authors of this study reach a quite different conclusion to the authors of the study that got this whole discussion started. They are concerned that providing less information to parents would put the child at risk. While they recognize that anxiety levels can become debilitating, they also looked at the effect of low anxiety levels. Too little anxiety can result in too little vigilance and put the child at risk.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group