The Food hypersensitivity famiLy ImPact (FLIP) questionnaire - development and first results
Andrea Mikkelsen, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine/Public Health and Epidemiology Unit, Box 454, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
Elimination of the offending food(s) is the usual treatment when a child suffers from food hypersensitivity. This treatment can impair everyday life in families with affected children. Instruments to assess these impairments generated from families attending primary care and in comparison to families with children without food hypersensitivity are scarce. The aim of this study is to develop and test a method to assess food hypersensitivity's impact on everyday life on affected families.
The Food hypersensitivity famiLy ImPact (FLIP) questionnaire was developed and validated on parents of children (0.5–7 years) with cow's milk protein hypersensitivity, exclusively or in combination with other food hypersensitivity, together with the Swedish Parental Stress Questionnaire (SPSQ) and in comparison to parents with children without food hypersensitivity.
The validation of FLIP on 94 families indicated excellent internal consistency (Cronbach α 0.9) and good reproducibility (ICC 0.71). The FLIP showed moderate correlation with the SPSQ (r = 0.48) and proved capable of discriminating families by disease burden. Affected families experienced higher stress on their daily lives (p = 0.02) and higher impact on nutrition concerns (p < 0.0001) compared to families with children without food hypersensitivity.
The FLIP is a reliable, valid and sensitive instrument and could be valuable both clinically and in research. The results confirm recommendations of the need for continuous and updated dietary treatment and support for the families with young children with food hypersensitivity.