• Parental self-efficacy in managing food allergy and mental health predicts food allergy related quality of life

      Knibb, Rebecca C.; Barnes, Christopher; Stalker, Carol; Aston University; University of Derby; University of Derby; Psychology, School of Life and Health Sciences; Aston University; Birmingham U.K; Psychology, College of Life and Natural Sciences; University of Derby; Derby U.K; Psychology, College of Life and Natural Sciences; University of Derby; Derby U.K (2016-03-28)
      Food allergy has been shown to have a significant impact on quality of life (QoL) and can be difficult to manage in order to avoid potentially life threatening reactions. Parental self-efficacy (confidence) in managing food allergy for their child might explain variations in QoL. This study aimed to examine whether self-efficacy in parents of food allergic children was a good predictor of QoL of the family. Methods: Parents of children with clinically diagnosed food allergy completed the Food Allergy Self-Efficacy Scale for Parents (FASE-P), the Food Allergy Quality of Life Parental Burden Scale (FAQL-PB), the GHQ-12 (to measure mental health) and the Food Allergy Independent Measure (FAIM), which measures perceived likelihood of a severe allergic reaction. Results: A total of 434 parents took part. Greater parental QoL was significantly related to greater self-efficacy for food allergy management, better mental health, lower perceived likelihood of a severe reaction, older age in parent and child and fewer number of allergies (all p<0.05). Food allergy self-efficacy explained more of the variance in QoL than any other variable and self-efficacy related to management of social activities and precaution and prevention of an allergic reaction appeared to be the most important aspects. Conclusions: Parental self-efficacy in management of a child’s food allergy is important and is associated with better parental QoL. It would be useful to measure self-efficacy at visits to allergy clinic in order to focus support; interventions to improve self-efficacy in parents of food allergic children should be explored.