Objective: To evaluate a brief educational tool for pediatricians developed to address known gaps in food allergy knowledge.
Study Design: Pre- and post-assessments were administered to a convenience sample of 61 US pediatricians completing the Food Allergy Comprehension Tool between February and March of 2010. McNemar’s and Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to determine whether clinical knowledge of food allergy and level of comfort in caring for food-allergic children increased significantly after reviewing the tool. Logistic regression models were used to measure the association of participant characteristics with increased knowledge and comfort.
Results: Sixty-one percent of surveyed physicians answered more knowledge questions correctly after reviewing the tool. Significantly more participants correctly indicated that anaphylaxis poses the greatest threat to teenagers rather than young children, and correctly rejected chronic nasal problems as a symptom of food allergy (p < 0.05). Comfort in caring for food-allergic children increased significantly on all items post-intervention (p < 0.05). Odds of increased knowledge and comfort were significantly higher among pediatricians without previous training in food allergy.
Conclusion: The Food Allergy Comprehension Tool is a rapid way to address known knowledge gaps among pediatricians and to identify areas in need of further intervention. We recommend integration of the tool with current food allergy guidelines.