Asthma Allergy Immunology

Asthma Allergy Immunology

Maternal Anxiety, Stress, and Depression: The Role of Food Allergy

Ahmet KAN 1, Mehmet TÜRE 2, Kamil YILMAZ 2, Emre EMRE 3, Gülnur BAŞ 4,

1 Department of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey
2 Department of Pediatrics, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey
3 Department of Allergy and Immunology, Hatay Training and Research Hospital, Hatay, Turkey
4 Department of Child Psychiatry, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey

DOI: 10.21911/aai.675
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Objective: The prevalence of food allergy in children continues to rise worldwide. Both proven and suspected food allergy in children may be associated with depression, anxiety, and stress for mothers. In this study, our primary aim was to determine the severity of depression, anxiety, and stress in mothers of food allergic children and compare them with controls.

Materials and Methods: A questionnaire that included the sociodemographic features and independent risk factors and the depression, anxiety, stress scale 21 were used.

Results: A total of 104 patients, and their mothers were included in the study. Most patients were diagnosed with eczema. Multiple foods or food groups were eliminated by most patients. Moderate to severe depression (p<0.001), anxiety (p<0.001), and stress (p=0.01) were significantly more common in mothers of food allergic children compared with the control group. No association was found between the maternal anxiety, depression, and stress scores and the types of food allergy, income of the family, and the number of foods eliminated from the diet. There was a positive correlation between the maternal depression score and maternal education level (p=0.029, r=0.21).

Conclusion: The mother and baby should be considered as an inseparable whole and the mothers should be supported psychosocially. Psychosocial problems in the mothers of food allergic children should be detected in a timely manner by screening programs.

Keywords : Food allergy, mothers, stress, anxiety, depression