The psychosocial impact of an activity holiday for young children with severe food allergy: a longitudinal study

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Abstract

Background
Food allergy has been shown to severely affect quality of life (QoL) in children and their families. The Anaphylaxis Campaign UK supports families with allergic children and as part of that support ran an activity holiday for those with food allergy. This study investigated the effectiveness of this activity holiday for reducing anxiety and improving QoL and food allergy management for these children.
Methods
Measures were taken at baseline, at the start of the activity holiday, at the end of the holiday, at 3 and 6 months follow-up. Children (n = 24) completed a paediatric food allergy–specific QoL questionnaire (PFA-QL), a generic QoL questionnaire (PedsQL™), the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the Children's Health Locus of Control (CHLC) scale at all stages of the study.
Results
There were significant improvements in social QoL, food allergy–specific QoL, total CHLC and internal locus of control scores over time (p > 0.05). There were significant decreases in powerful others locus of control, total anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder scores (p < 0.05). Greater anxiety significantly correlated with poorer QoL at all time points; no correlations with locus of control were significant at the 3- and 6-month follow-up.
Conclusions
The activity holiday was of significant benefit to the children who took part, providing support for the need for activity holidays such as this for children with severe food allergy. Ways in which adaptive locus of control and improved quality of life can be facilitated need to be further explored.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalPaediatric Allergy and Immunology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

    Keywords

  • anxiety disorders, child, disease progression, female, follow-up studies, food hypersensitivity, Great Britain, holidays, humans, leisure activities, longitudinal studies, male, obsessive-compulsive disorder, quality of life, questionnaires, anxiety, children, food allergy, locus of control

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