‘It’s not an illness, it’s just bad luck’: The impact of anaphylaxis on quality of life in adults


Background: An increasing number of adults are being diagnosed with anaphylaxis, but its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQol) is not known. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the impact of anaphylaxis on HRQoL of newly diagnosed adults. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 13 adults (aged 40-71; five males) with anaphylaxis (meeting WAO diagnostic criteria) to drugs, food, venom or spontaneous anaphylaxis, recruited using purposive sampling from allergy clinics in Birmingham, UK. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Four themes were generated from the analysis: the journey from fear to frustration; the need to maintain a healthy identity; control over uncertainty; and the supportive role of others. Participants described their first experiences of anaphylaxis as frightening. Managing the condition was associated with frustration and anxiety, in part due to uncertainty regarding when anaphylaxis might occur. Participants did not consider their allergy as an illness and wanted to retain an identity as a healthy person. They felt a strong need to have control over their anaphylaxis so that it did not take over their lives. The support from others was extremely important, but a lack of understanding of anaphylaxis sometimes hindered that support. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Anaphylaxis has an adverse impact on the HRQoL of adults irrespective of the cause. More information about anaphylaxis and its management from healthcare professionals may help patients gain a sense of control over their condition and reduce the worry and anxiety associated with it.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cea.13410
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Knibb, R. C., Huissoon, A. P., Baretto, R. , Ekbote, A. , Onyango‐Odera, S. , Screti, C. , Newman, K. L. and Krishna, M. T. (2019), ‘It's not an illness, it's just bad luck’: The impact of anaphylaxis on quality of life in adults. Clin Exp Allergy. Accepted Author Manuscript, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/cea.13410.  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: adults,anaphylaxis,control,fear,frustration,quality of life,social support,Immunology and Allergy,Immunology
Publication ISSN: 1365-2222
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 07:33
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 08:02
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://onlinel ... .1111/cea.13410 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-07-01
Published Online Date: 2019-05-07
Accepted Date: 2019-04-26
Authors: Knibb, Rebecca C (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5561-0904)
Huissoon, Aarnoud
Baretto, Richard
Ekbote, Anjali
Onyango-Odera, Shamim
Screti, Cassandra
Newman, Kristina
Krishna, Mamidipudi



Version: Accepted Version

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