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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006 Mar;96(3):472-7.

Development of a preliminary questionnaire to assess parental response to children's food allergies.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Food allergy affects up to 8% of children. Unintentional exposure may result in minor to potentially fatal episodes. Management of allergies depends on strict allergen avoidance and emergency preparedness. The demands of allergy management and concerns for the child's safety may place parents at risk of developing emotional distress or difficulties in coping.


To develop a brief condition-specific measure to evaluate parental adjustment to and coping with children's food allergy.


A total of 221 parents of children 18 year or younger with food allergy were recruited from a private allergy practice and local food allergy support groups. Parents completed an 18-item questionnaire, the Food Allergy Parent Questionnaire (FAPQ), that assessed parental coping with a child's food allergy and questions related to their child's food allergy diagnosis and course.


Factor analysis of the items on the FAPQ suggested 4 factors that accounted for 53.6% of the variance: parental anxiety/distress, psychosocial impact of allergies, parental coping/competence, and family support. Medical variables (greater number of food allergies, positive history of anaphylaxis) were associated with higher scores on the anxiety/distress and psychosocial impact subscales. Internal consistency was good for the anxiety/distress and psychosocial impact subscales (Cronbach alpha = .80 and .77, respectively) but lower for the parental coping/competence and family support subscales (alpha = .57 and .32, respectively).


Although further psychometric data for the FAPQ is needed, preliminary findings suggest that the measure may be useful in screening for parental anxiety, perceived impact of food allergies, level of family support, and coping skills.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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