The impact of food allergy on quality of life
So far researchers have only investigated the impact of food allergy on quality of life to a limited extent. Specially designed questionnaires can measure people’s ability to function in their everyday lives. General quality of life questionnaires are available that can be used in different diseases. Research using such questionnaires has shown that:
- Daily life is more disrupted in peanut allergic individuals than in individuals with a rheumatic disease.
- Family activities were limited in families with food allergic children.
- Female adolescents with food allergy feel more impaired health-wise and socially than female adolescents with other allergy-like conditions.
- Gender differences exist in the quality of life of the family members of children with peanut allergy. Mothers experienced greater anxiety and stress than fathers or sibling(s). In addition, mothers rated their child’s quality of life worse than the father, sibling(s), or the allergic child.
Researchers have recently developed and tested the reliability of questionnaires that are specific for food allergy. Answers to one of these questionnaires indicate that food allergy has a significant impact on almost all aspects of daily life.
EuroPrevall state of the art papers:
- B.M.J. de Blok, B.J. Vlieg-Boerstra, J. N. G. Oude Elberink, E.J. Duiverman, A. DunnGalvin, J. O'B. Hourihane, J.R. Cornelisse-Vermaat, L. Frewer, E.N.C. Mills, A.E.J. Dubois (2007). A framework for measuring the social impact of food allergy across Europe. A EuroPrevall state of the art paper. Allergy 62 (7), 733-737.
Lay version of the above papers: