Objective: The prevalence of pediatric food allergy (FA) is increasing and, due to early disease onset, requires significant caregiver management that is associated with psychosocial burden. Caregiver perception of how they cope and handle FA-related events (self-efficacy) has been linked to psychosocial outcomes in racially/geographically homogenous samples. This study explores FA-related caregiver self-efficacy and associations with FA-related caregiver quality of life (QoL) in a diverse cohort.
Methods: Caregivers of children, diagnosed with IgE-mediated FA who identified as non-Hispanic Black or White, were recruited from U.S. academic allergy clinics. Caregivers completed demographic and medical questionnaires, the Food Allergy Self-Efficacy Scale for Parents (FASE-P), Food Allergy Independent Measure-Parent Form (FAIM), and the Food Allergy Quality of Life-Parental Burden (FAQL-PB). Bivariate and multivariate associations estimated relationships between study variables.
Results: Caregivers of 365 children (Mage = 5.8 years, 62.2% male, 31.1% Black) were enrolled. Caregivers reported high FA self-efficacy (M = 82.06/100), moderate perceptions of risk/FA severity (FAIM: M = 3.9/7), and some limitations on the FAQL-PB (M = 3.9/7). Self-efficacy was related to lower perceptions of risk/FA severity across all demographic groups (r = -.42, p < .001). Caregivers who reported higher self-efficacy reported better QoL, particularly Black caregivers (r = .67).
Conclusions: In this sample of caregivers of children with FA, greater self-efficacy was related to improved QoL regardless of sociodemographic factors. Caregivers' perception of risk was lower for those with greater self-efficacy. Future research into the impact of FA management on QoL among diverse caregivers is needed.
Keywords: caregivers; food allergy; pediatrics; quality of life; self-efficacy.
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