If you're living with a chronic illness, you're in the right place.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

EGIDs, Kids, & Psychology

3:07 PM Posted by Stephanie Horgan , ,

Recently when doing some research, I came across a journal article in Children's Health Care, which talked about Psychological Functioning of Children and Adolescents With Eosinophil-Associated Gastrointestinal Disorders. EGIDs are growing in numbers, but there has not been a lot of literature on the psychosocial aspects of these disorders. The article was written by various clinicians and psychologists (Cortina et al) at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and examined the health-related quality of life and adjustment among children with EGIDs compared to their healthy peers. (To note, my colleague Tiffany Taft has written multiple articles in the field of EGID's since 2004!) 

Similar to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, EGIDs are an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract, but only since 2004 have they been described in medical literature. Some of the frustrations revolve around eating and children's food hypersensitivity, so mealtimes can pose significant challenges for families.  Here are some of the findings from this 2010 study.

Children and adolescents with EGIDs...

  • Their parents reported higher frequencies of internalizing and externalizing symptoms
  • Parents rated them with less developed social skills
  • Parents reported more missed school days for their kids
  • Had greater overall depressive symptoms
  • Had lower quality of life scores
So what can we do with these findings? Is there hope? 

The good news is YES! We are here to help, and encourage those with EGIDs to reach out. Whether you are a child or adult, there are unique challenges to this diagnosis, and just like any other chronic illness, it requires a period of adjustment and acceptance. It is not easy to rearrange your life, or your child's life, to a new set of eating habits or medical appointment schedule. There will be ups and downs, and that is something a therapist can help a patient adjust to. We can also help with behavioral interventions around eating, to try and reduce anxiety for the patient and family. As Tiffany and I head to the first Cured Foundation Research Symposium on November 2-4, 2012, we will excitedly learn more about how to best serve this population and their psychosocial needs. 

Citation: Psychological Functioning of Children and Adolescents With Eosinophil-Associated Gastrointestinal Disorders. Cortina S, McGraw K, Dealarcon A, Ahrens A, Rothenberg ME, Drotar D. Child Health Care. 2010 Oct; 39(4):266-278.