Psychological services for food allergy: The unmet need for patients and families in the United Kingdom

Rebecca Knibb, Mary Halsey, Polly James, George Toit, Judith Young

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter, comment/opinion or interviewpeer-review


Research over the past 20 years has demonstrated the significant impact food allergy can have on quality of life and mental health of patients and their families, yet there is a paucity of psychological services to support families in coping with this condition. This paper provides a short overview of the psychological impact of food allergy, followed by a discussion of the use of paediatric psychological services for long-term conditions. To our knowledge, few paediatric allergy clinics in the UK have funding for dedicated clinical psychology services. Two such services are based at Southampton General Hospital and the Evelina London Children's Hospital. This paper includes descriptions of these services and how they are currently being used by patients and families. This is followed by an allergy clinician's perspective on the use of psychological services. Recommendations are made for allergy services to work with hospital psychology services to develop, integrate and deliver psychological services for all patients with allergy and their families who are in need. Future research also needs to focus on the efficacy of psychological therapies and group interventions in food allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1390-1394
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number11
Early online date27 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Clinical and Experimental Allergy on 27 August 2019, available online at:


  • anaphylaxis
  • food allergy
  • prevention
  • psychological services


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