This study aimed to explore the impact of food allergy on quality of life in children with food allergy and their primary caregivers, compared to a healthy non-food allergy comparison group. Food allergy children (n = 34) and control children (n = 15), aged 8–12, and their respective primary caregivers (n = 30/n = 13), completed generic quality of life scales (PedsQL™ and WHOQOLBREF) and were asked to take photographs and keep a diary about factors that they believed enhanced and/or limited their quality of life, over a one-week period. Questionnaire analysis showed that parents of children with food allergy had significantly lower quality of life in the social relationships domain and lower overall quality of life than the comparison parents. In contrast, children with food allergy had similar or higher quality of life scores compared to comparison children. Content analysis of photograph and diary data identified ten themes that influenced both child and parental quality of life. It was concluded that although food allergy influenced quality of life for some children, their parent's quality of life was hindered to a greater extent. The variability in findings highlights the importance of assessing quality of life in individual families, considering both children with allergies and their primary caregivers.
Bibliographical noteNOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Valentine, AZ & Knibb, RC, 'Exploring quality of life in families of children living with and without a severe food allergy' Appetite, vol. 57, no. 2 (2011) DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2011.06.007
- food allergy
- quality of life