The psychological burden of peanut allergy as perceived by adults with peanut allergy and the parents of peanut-allergic children

Authors

  • Primeau,

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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  • * Kagan,

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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  • * Joseph,

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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  • Lim,

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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  • Dufresne,

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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  • Duffy,

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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  • Prhcal,

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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  • and ** Clarke

    1. Divisions of, *1Allergy/Clinical Immunology, 2Rheumatology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Divisions of, 3Clinical Epidemiology, §4Allergy/Clinical Immunology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Departments of, 5Paediatrics, **6Medicine, ††7Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, ‡‡8l'Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires
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Clarke Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1A4.

Abstract

Background

Peanut-allergic patients are affected by a condition which forces them and their families to exercise extreme dietary vigilance and experience constant uncertainty throughout their lives.

Objective

To compare the quality of life and family relations of children and adults with a peanut allergy to that of children and adults with a rheumatological disease.

Methods

Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy or a rheumatological disease completed (for children less than 18 years, by proxy) self-report questionnaires regarding the impact of their condition on their quality of life and family relations. A vertical visual analogue scale and the Impact on Family Questionnaire (IFQ) served as outcome measures.

Results

One hundred and fifty-three peanut-allergic children were compared with 69 children with a rheumatological disease while 37 peanut-allergic adults were compared with 42 adults with a rheumatological disease. The parents of peanut-allergic children, compared to the parents of children with a rheumatological disease, reported that their children had significantly more disruption in their daily activities. Furthermore, the parents of peanut-allergic children reported more impairment in the familial-social dimension of the IFQ. Conversely, adults with a chronic rheumatological disease reported more disruption in their family relations than peanut-allergic adults.

Conclusion

Given the considerable disruption in daily activities and family relations reported by the parents of peanut-allergic children, accurate diagnosis of peanut allergy is essential. Our work should make health care professionals dealing with children with confirmed peanut allergy more aware of the support that these families may require. Furthermore, we hope to motivate food industries to offer more ‘peanut free’ products to decrease the dietary restrictions of these patients while minimizing their potential for accidental ingestion.

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