BACKGROUND: Food allergy has been shown to have a significant impact on quality of life (QoL) and can be difficult to manage in order to avoid potentially life threatening reactions. Parental self-efficacy (confidence) in managing food allergy for their child might explain variations in QoL. This study aimed to examine whether self-efficacy in parents of food allergic children was a good predictor of QoL of the family.
METHODS: Parents of children with clinically diagnosed food allergy completed the Food Allergy Self-Efficacy Scale for Parents (FASE-P), the Food Allergy Quality of Life Parental Burden Scale (FAQL-PB), the GHQ-12 (to measure mental health) and the Food Allergy Independent Measure (FAIM), which measures perceived likelihood of a severe allergic reaction.
RESULTS: A total of 434 parents took part. Greater parental QoL was significantly related to greater self-efficacy for food allergy management, better mental health, lower perceived likelihood of a severe reaction, older age in parent and child and fewer number of allergies (all p<0.05). Food allergy self-efficacy explained more of the variance in QoL than any other variable and self-efficacy related to management of social activities and precaution and prevention of an allergic reaction appeared to be the most important aspects.
CONCLUSIONS: Parental self-efficacy in management of a child's food allergy is important and is associated with better parental QoL. It would be useful to measure self-efficacy at visits to allergy clinic in order to focus support; interventions to improve self-efficacy in parents of food allergic children should be explored. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Knibb, R. C., Barnes, C., & Stalker, C. (2016). Parental self-efficacy in managing food allergy and mental health predicts food allergy related quality of life. Paediatric Allergy and Immunology, 27(5), 459-464, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pai.12569. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
- food allergy
- quality of life