Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life threatening allergic reaction which can affect the airway, breathing and/or circulation. This reaction can be triggered by a number of different allergens but the most common are food, medications, insect venom and latex. Because these reactions occur suddenly and are potentially very serious, the best management lies in the correct use of the prescribed emergency medication. Epinephrine, or adrenaline as it is more commonly known, is the recommended drug for the treatment of anaphylaxis. Injecting the epinephrine into the outer thigh muscle is the preferred route of administration. For health professionals, patients and carers, this rapid administration is facilitated by the manufacture of preloaded syringes and autoinjectors. Despite the availability of these devices, a review of studies shows poor knowledge and skills amongst both health professionals and patients with regards to using autoinjectable epinephrine devices correctly. These studies found that as well as poor knowledge in using the autoinjectors, there was a lack of confidence amongst patients and an unwillingness to carry the device with them at all times.
In other disease groups like asthma and diabetes, psychological models which involve asking people how they think about their illness and their related behaviours, have been found to help in the understanding of why some people follow or adhere to health professionals advice and why others do not. Based on these findings, this study will look at two appropriate psychological models and their ability to predict variation in adherence to self-care regimens in adolescents and young adults with food allergy related anaphylaxis.