Michelle L. Taylor


Integrative food allergy education: Effects on parental anxiety and quality of life

Purpose: To improve anxiety and quality of life (QOL) in parents of children with food allergies, thorough food allergy education using methods beyond routine verbal education is essential. The purpose of this project was to develop, test, and evaluate an innovative, online food allergy educational program and to determine the effect on parental anxiety, QOL, and satisfaction.

Methods: This project utilized a quasi-experimental, one-group, pre-test/post-test intervention design. Eligible participants included all parents or legal guardians of children diagnosed with food allergies from an allergy clinic in Southwest Florida. The evidence-based educational program comprised of three asynchronous webinars and downloadable reference material displayed on an online domain. Evaluation of Parental anxiety and QOL were analyzed using the Food Allergy Quality of Life-Parental Burden tool. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze results.

Results: Two participants completed the educational program, and pre/post questionnaire QOL scores improved after completing the education program (pre-M = 35 vs. post-M = 15.5, higher scores indicate poorer QOL). Anxiety scores improved in one participant (from a score of two to zero), and all participants were extremely satisfied with the program.

Discussion: The project addresses the gaps in parental food allergy education needs, but there were many limitations that impeded the projects evaluation (i.e., the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic).

Conclusions: Due to the small sample size, this project cannot conclude that an online food allergy education intervention positively impacts parental anxiety and QOL. Further examination of parental anxiety and QOL after completing an integrative educational program could help to identify if an online program might be an innovative and effective tool for food allergy specialists to establish in their practice in efforts to improve parental anxiety and QOL.

Major Professor: Jessica Bahorski, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC, WHNP-BC






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