Family Functioning and Illness Perception of Parents of Children with Atopic Dermatitis, Living without Skin Symptoms, but with Psychosomatic Symptoms
Emotional factors and a recurrent psychosomatic environment, have been implicated in the evolution of atopic dermatitis. These, in turn, affect the disease.
This study was under taken to evaluate the functioning of families with a child that has atopic dermatitis without skin symptoms and the parents’ perceptions of their child’s disease.
Semi-quantitative and cross-sectional study in which questionnaires were applied: one to study family functioning (Espejel et al. scale) and the second to determine aspects of parental perception of their child’s atopic dermatitis. Pearson’s correlation was used to analyze the correlation between the categories of the Family Function Scale.
The most affected categories of family functioning were authority, handling of disruptive conduct, communication, and negative affect. The most significant positive correlations between the categories of family functioning were: authority and support, r=0.867, p<.001; disruptive conduct and communication, r=0.798, p<.001; and support and communication, r=0.731, p<.001. Of the parents, 66.4% thought that the pharmacotherapy used for their child’s atopic dermatitis was not effective, and 33.3% of parents stated that the disease had affected their child’s daily activities.
In families of children with atopic dermatitis, various family environment factors facilitate the recurrence of symptoms even when no cutaneous lesions have been found on the child. The identification and use of family resources to face this disease are aspects that should be taken into consideration during the psychotherapeutic management of these families, putting emphasis on the most affected functional categories of these families in a strategy that should be implanted in a multi-disciplinary context.
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