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Research Roundup: Hat Tip to 2012 Edition

As we steadily march toward 2013, I'd like to take a few minutes to highlight some of the best studies of 2012 that advanced our knowledge of psychosocial issues for those living with chronic medical illness.  I might even include a few shameless self-plugs for my own research, but I promise to keep it under control.

Bullying experiences of obese children.  A great study in the journal Pediatrics highlights the struggles of overweight and obese children with bullying, with some startling statistics.  78% reported being bullied for at least 1 year, while 36% were bullied for 5 years.  Peers and friends were the most likely people to bully, but several adults were also identified including gym teachers/sports coaches (42%), parents (37%) and teachers (27%).  Yikes.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is effective in treating depression in teens with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  The PASCET-PI study out of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh found that adolescents who underwent CBT for depression related to Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis continued to show improvement 1 year after treatment was completed, suggesting that CBT is an effective intervention for teens with IBD who are also depressed.

Qualitative experiences of mother's of children with food allergy.  I love qualitative research because it involves in-depth interviews with members of the group of interest.  In this case, mother's of kids with food allergies.  In this study, they found 3 common themes from moms:  living with food allergy risk is a big responsibility, making adjustments to keep life as stable as possible for themselves and their family, and changes to their identity as a mother of an allergic child while managing social relationships and obligations.

Caregiver stress in mothers of children with Eosinophilic GI disease.  This one is mine, and is the first study to evaluate parents of kids with EGIDs for stress.  We found that these moms reported significant anxiety and depression, and that the worse their mental health was the more severe their stress levels were.  The types of treatments their child was using, as well as their child's behavioral issues also contributed to stress.

The impact of a group self-management program for people living with chronic illness.  People living with a variety of chronic medical conditions reported significant positive impact from participating in a self-management program.  Main themes included:  increases in physical activities, improved coping skills, and reduced feelings of isolation.  There were barriers to these improvements, mostly related to patient-physician interactions and financial limitations.

Here's to a productive 2013 in the world of chronic illness research!
Just join us cos uh, no-one's gonna really be free until nerd persecution ends

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