New research in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology highlights the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of allergy-related phobias among pediatricians and allergists.
“CBT works by gradually encouraging anxious children to take part in ‘brave practices,’ like eating with the rest of their family, playing with siblings, and trying new foods that don’t contain allergens,” said Katherine Dahlsgaard, Director of the Food Allergy Bravery (FAB) Clinic.
“As a child’s confidence grows, we gradually introduce them to more challenging brave practices. This could include sitting in the same room with the food they’re allergic to, or even touching the food and then washing their hands thoroughly.”
“The aim is to help children realize, through safe, structured practices in the FAB Clinic, that the world is much safer than they think and that they are capable of keeping themselves safe within it.”
The study, titled New Issue of Food Allergy: Phobia of Anaphylaxis in Pediatric Patients, was funded by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.