Conference Presentation: Food allergy quality of care

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently traveled to Vancouver to attend the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.  While I was there, I presented a poster sharing results from an ongoing project which investigates parent-reported quality of care received by families of children with food allergy.  Since pediatricians are often the first and only source of food allergy care, we were particularly interested in comparing parent satisfaction and quality of care received by families from both pediatricians & allergists.  

After comparing data from 940 mothers and fathers of children with food allergy, we found that overall parents reported equally high levels of trust in their physician and satisfaction with the care they received.  However, parents reported that both allergists and pediatrics missed important food allergy  management steps during their visits.  For example, many physicians failed to prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector to patients, even when they strongly suspect that the child has a food allergy.  Also, we found that physicians may only follow all FA management steps when they perceive the child to be at high risk of anaphylaxis.  

Moreover, since we collected data independently from both mothers and fathers, we were able to compare their responses.  We found systematic differences in the responses of mothers and fathers with fathers more likely to respond favorably to questions about the quality of care received and the management steps followed by physicians.  

Thus, moving forward, we feel that we need to increase education in healthcare settings around recognition of anaphylaxis symptoms and how/when to use injectable epinephrine. We also feel that increased provider education is needed to ensure that they adhere to the NIAID’s clinical food allergy management guidelines—particularly with regard to providing written asthma action plans and counseling about long-term prognosis.  Please see below some summary tables of our data.