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Goossens N.J.,University of Groningen | Flokstra-de Blok B.M.J.,University of Groningen | Vlieg-Boerstra B.J.,University of Groningen | Duiverman E.J.,University of Groningen | And 3 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Allergy | Year: 2011

Background Food-allergic reactions occur in 3-4% of the adult population in Western countries. It has been shown that food allergy may impair health-related quality of life (HRQL). Food allergy quality of life questionnaires (FAQLQs) have been developed and validated, including an adult form (FAQLQ-AF). These questionnaires may be particularly useful for cross-cultural comparisons. Objectives The aims of this study were to translate the FAQLQ-AF from Dutch into English and validate an online version in the United States. Additionally, HRQL of American and Dutch food-allergic adults was compared. Methods The Dutch FAQLQ-AF was translated into English as set out by the World Health Organization and converted to an electronic online format. Participants (food allergic American adults) were recruited through the 'Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network' website and completed the questionnaire online. Construct validity, internal consistency, discriminative ability and feasibility were analysed. A cross-cultural comparison was made using the Dutch FAQLQ-AF scores. Results Data from 180 American participants were analysed. The online FAQLQ-AF had a good construct validity (correlation with FAIM: ρ=0.72; P<0.001), internal consistency (Cronbach's α=0.95) and was discriminative for 'anaphylaxis' vs. 'no anaphylaxis' and 'number of food allergies'. The most striking finding was a significantly greater impairment in HRQL in the American participants, as compared with their Dutch counterparts (the total FAQLQ-AF scores were 4.3 vs. 3.5, respectively; P<0.001, where 1 signifies no impairment and 7 signifies extreme impairment in HRQL). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance The online American FAQLQ-AF is a valid instrument to measure HRQL in food-allergic patients in the United States. Additionally, HRQL of American food-allergic adults may be more impaired than Dutch food-allergic adults. The FAQLQ-AF can now be used to determine the HRQL in American food-allergic adults and can assist clinicians in optimizing management strategies for food-allergic patients. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Sicherer S.H.,Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute | Munoz-Furlong A.,Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network | Godbold J.H.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Sampson H.A.,Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Background: Allergy to peanuts and tree nuts (TNs) is the leading cause of fatal allergic reactions in the United States, and the prevalence appears to be increasing. Objectives: We sought to determine the US prevalence of self-reported peanut, TN, and sesame allergy in 2008 and compare results with comparable surveys conducted in 1997 and 2002. Methods: A nationwide, cross-sectional, random telephone survey for peanut and TN allergy was conducted with a previously used questionnaire, with additional questions about sesame. Results: A total of 5,300 households (13,534 subjects) were surveyed (participation rate, 42% vs 52% in 2002 and 67% in 1997). Peanut allergy, TN allergy, or both was reported by 1.4% of subjects (95% CI, 1.2% to 1.6%) compared with 1.2% in 2002 and 1.4% in 1997. For adults, the prevalence was 1.3% (95% CI, 1.1% to 1.6%), which was not significantly different from prior surveys. However, the prevalence of peanut or TN allergy for children younger than 18 years was 2.1% (95% CI, 1.6% to 2.7%) compared with 1.2% in 2002 (P = .007) and 0.6% in 1997 (P < .001). The prevalence of peanut allergy in children in 2008 was 1.4% (95% CI, 1.0% to 1.9%) compared with 0.8% in 2002 (P = not significant) and 0.4% in 1997 (P < .0001). The prevalence of childhood TN allergy increased significantly across the survey waves (1.1% in 2008, 0.5% in 2002, and 0.2% in 1997). Sesame allergy was reported by 0.1% (95% CI, 0.0% to 0.2%). Conclusions: Although caution is required in comparing surveys, peanut allergy, TN allergy, or both continue to be reported by more than 1% of the US population (eg, >3 million subjects) and appear to be increasingly reported among children over the past decade. Sesame allergy is reported much less commonly. © 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Annunziato R.A.,Fordham University | Annunziato R.A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Shemesh E.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Weiss C.C.,Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Health Psychology | Year: 2013

The present study aimed to examine whether caretakers of children with a food allergy experience distress and to determine their family's mental health-care needs and utilization. An anonymous survey was given to a sample of 454 caretakers during conferences hosted by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. Overall, 32 percent of caretakers reported above threshold levels of distress while 70 percent stated that mental health support would have been helpful, but only 23 percent sought it. Even when mental health support was desired and available, few received it. Routine discussion of mental health needs with families receiving medical care may help address barriers to utilization. © The Author(s) 2012.

Lieberman J.A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Weiss C.,Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network | Furlong T.J.,Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network | Sicherer S.H.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology | Year: 2010

Background There are reports of children and teens with food allergy being harassed because of their food allergy, yet no study to date has attempted to characterize these occurrences. Objectives To determine the presence and characteristics of bullying, teasing, or harassment of food-allergic patients owing to their food allergies. Methods Questionnaires were completed by food-allergic teens and adults and by parents of food-allergic children. Results A total of 353 surveys were completed. Because most food-allergic individuals were children, most surveys were completed by parents of food-allergic individuals. The ages of the food-allergic individuals were younger than 4 years (25.9%), 4 to 11 years (55.0%), 12 to 18 years (12.5%), 19 to 25 years (2.6%), and older than 25 years (4.0%). Including all age groups, 24% of respondents reported that the food-allergic individual had been bullied, teased, or harassed because of food allergy. Of those who were bullied, teased, or harassed, 86% reported multiple episodes. Eighty-two percent of episodes occurred at school, and 80% were perpetrated mainly by classmates. Twenty-one percent of those who were bullied, teased, or harassed reported the perpetrators to be teachers or school staff. Overall, 79% of those bullied, teased, or harassed attributed this solely to food allergy. Of those bullied, 57% described physical events, such as being touched by an allergen and having an allergen thrown or waved at them, and several reported intentional contamination of their food with allergen. Conclusions Bullying, teasing, and harassment of children with food allergy seems to be common, frequent, and repetitive. These actions pose emotional and physical risks that should be addressed in food allergy management. © 2010 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Resnick E.S.,Mount Sinai Medical Center | Pieretti M.M.,Mount Sinai Medical Center | Maloney J.,Mount Sinai Medical Center | Noone S.,Mount Sinai Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology | Year: 2010

Background Living with food allergies affects quality of life (QOL) and may be particularly problematic for teenagers. Objective To develop a validated food allergy QOL assessment tool for US adolescents (FAQL-teen). Methods Initial items were developed through expert opinion, literature review, and adolescent focus groups, resulting in an 88-question impact assessment questionnaire. This questionnaire was completed by 52 adolescents for effect scoring; final instrument questions were determined through analysis of effect scores. The final 17-item instrument was completed by 203 participants aged 13 to 19 years via an Internet link on the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network Web site and via paper surveys distributed at a Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network conference. Items were scored on a 7-point Likert scale: 0 corresponded to "not troubled/limited," 3 to "moderately troubled/limited," and 6 to "extremely troubled/limited." Results Areas most troubling included limitations on social activities (score, 2.7), not being able to eat what others were eating (score, 2.7), and limited choice of restaurants (score, 3.9). Instrument validation steps showed strong internal validity (Cronbach α = .9). The instrument discriminated by disease severity: adolescents with a history of anaphylaxis had significantly lower QOL (higher scores) than did those without a history of anaphylaxis (P = .003). Conclusions While developing a food allergy QOL assessment tool for US adolescents (FAQL-teen), we identified multiple social and emotional concerns that could be targeted for adolescent counseling. This instrument is internally valid and has the ability to discriminate, making it a useful tool in adolescent food allergy studies. © 2010 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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