Background: Studies have demonstrated that families of children with food allergy have significant deficiencies in their knowledge of how to avoid allergen exposure and how to manage allergic reactions. This study aims to assess the impact of a multidisciplinary paediatric allergy clinic consultation on parental knowledge of food allergy and to determine the rate of subsequent allergic reactions.
Methods: Sixty-two subjects (<17 years) referred with food allergy were prospectively enrolled. Parental knowledge was assessed by questionnaire and EpiPen trainer. Families saw a paediatric allergist, clinical nurse specialist and dietician. Knowledge was reassessed after 3 months and rate of allergic reactions after 1 year.
Results: After one visit to the paediatric allergy clinic, there was a significant improvement in parental knowledge of allergen avoidance (26.9%, P < 0.001), managing allergic reactions (185.4%, P < 0.0001) and EpiPen usage (83.3%, P < 0.001). Additionally, there was a significant reduction in allergic reactions (P < 0.001). Children with egg, milk or multiple food allergies were more likely to suffer subsequent reactions.
Conclusions: A single visit to a multidisciplinary allergy clinic considerably improves families' abilities to manage allergic reactions to foods with an accompanying reduction in allergic reactions. Young children with egg, milk or multiple food allergies were at greatest risk of further reactions.