The contribution of psychology to our understanding of the impact of food allergy on people’s lives

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The contribution psychological theory and research can make to our understanding of the impact of food allergy on people’s lives has become increasingly important over the last fifteen years. The impact of food allergy on quality of life (QoL) has been the focus of much research attention, with a number of review articles concluding that food allergy can affect QoL in the child and the parents and that QoL is different for these patients compared to healthy populations. More recently research has looked at the impact of food allergy on psychological distress such as anxiety, worry, stress and depression, the coping strategies employed by children, adolescents and parents, the impact of food allergy on selfidentity of the patient and interventions that might help patients and parents cope better. There is also an increasing number of people and parents who self-diagnose food allergy or intolerance and avoid foods due to their beliefs that they cause unpleasant symptoms. In many cases these people have misattributed the cause of their symptoms and the impact of this on their lives is less well understood. This chapter examines the contribution psychology has made to our understanding of how people live with food allergy, examines the evidence for psychological therapies that may help improve patients’ and parents’ lives and highlights avenues for future research.

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Publication date1 Jan 2016
Publication titleFood Allergies : Epidemiology, Symptoms and Therapeutic Approaches
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781634845359
ISBN (Print)9781634845021
Original languageEnglish


  • Anxiety, Coping, Food allergy, Interventions, Quality of life, Stress

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