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Food allergy knowledge of parents – is ignorance bliss?

Authors

  • Nicole J. Goossens,

    Corresponding author
    1. GRIAC Research Institute, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
    • Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Allergy, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • Bertine M. J. Flokstra-de Blok,

    1. GRIAC Research Institute, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
    2. Department of General Practice, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • Gerbrich N. van der Meulen,

    1. Department of Paediatric Allergy, Martini Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • Erna Botjes,

    1. President Dutch Food Allergy Foundation, Nijkerk, The Netherlands
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  • Hans G. M. Burgerhof,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • Ruchi S. Gupta,

    1. Smith Child Health Research Program, Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA
    2. Institute for Healthcare Studies, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
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  • Elizabeth E. Springston,

    1. Smith Child Health Research Program, Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA
    2. Institute for Healthcare Studies, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
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  • Bridget Smith,

    1. Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care, Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL, USA
    2. Stitch School of Medicine, Loyola University of Chicago, Maywood, IL, USA
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  • Eric J. Duiverman,

    1. Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Allergy, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
    2. GRIAC Research Institute, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • Anthony E. J. Dubois

    1. Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Allergy, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
    2. GRIAC Research Institute, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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Correspondence

Nicole Johanna Goossens, Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Allergy, University Medical Centre Groningen,

PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands.

Tel.: +31 50 3610586

E-mail: n.j.goossens@umcg.nl

Abstract

Background

Food allergic children are at least partially dependent on their parents to care for their food allergy. In addition, parents are often responsible for the education of others regarding food allergy, including the family, school, neighbors, and friends. The aim of this study was to investigate food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of parents with food allergic children in the Netherlands. In addition, a cross-cultural comparison was made between parents from the USA and parents from the Netherlands.

Methods

The original Chicago Food Allergy Research Survey for Parents of Children with Food Allergy (CFARS-PRNT) was translated into Dutch. Parents of children with at least one doctor-diagnosed food allergy were included. Knowledge scores and attitude/beliefs scores were determined and compared with the data from 2945 parents from the USA. Predictors of overall knowledge scores were investigated.

Results

Dutch parents of children completed the translated CFARS-PRNT (n = 299). The mean overall knowledge score in the Netherlands was 9.9 after adjusting for guessing, compared with 12.7 in the USA (p < 0.001). Attitudes and beliefs regarding food allergy among parents from the Netherlands were generally more optimistic. The overall knowledge scores could be predicted by country of origin, educational degree, being member of a patient organization, visiting an allergist, and a history of anaphylaxis.

Conclusions

Food allergy knowledge among parents of food allergic children from the Netherlands is suboptimal when compared with their counterparts from the USA, although these parents tend to be more optimistic toward food allergy than parents from the USA.

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