Parental Perceptions of Penicillin Allergy Risk Stratification and Delabeling

Hosp Pediatr. 2023 Apr 1;13(4):300-308. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2022-006737.


Background: Penicillin (PCN) allergy labels are widely recognized to be highly inaccurate. Little is known about parental perceptions of the PCN allergy evaluation and removal process, especially in the hospital setting.

Methods: Focus groups were held with parents of children and adolescents with a PCN allergy label discharged from a large academic children's hospital between January 1, 2019, and April 15, 2020. The open-ended, semistructured moderator guide included questions about PCN allergy testing and evaluation, accuracy of the PCN allergy diagnosis, amoxicillin oral challenges, delabeling process, and preferred setting for PCN allergy delabeling evaluation (outpatient clinic, hospital, etc). Study investigators coded the transcripts and identified underlying themes using inductive and deductive thematic analysis.

Results: A total of 21 parents and 2 adolescents participated across 4 focus groups. We developed a theoretical framework depicting key elements of parents' and adolescents' experiences with PCN allergies, consisting of 4 major interconnected themes: (1) family context; (2) the invitation to delabel; (3) decision context; and (4) the PCN delabeling outcome. PCN allergies remained a concern for families even if their children passed an oral challenge. Some parents preferred testing to be performed in the hospital and felt this was a safer location for the procedure.

Conclusions: Parents are amenable to hospital based PCN allergy evaluation and delabeling. Further studies should incorporate parental and patient preferences to implement safe and effective PCN allergy delabeling processes in the hospital setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amoxicillin
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Drug Hypersensitivity* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity* / drug therapy
  • Penicillins / adverse effects
  • Risk Assessment


  • Penicillins
  • Amoxicillin
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents