PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
To analyze health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in food-allergic children, compared with parental-proxy reports of the child’s HRQoL.
Dutch children aged 8 to 12 years with at least 1 physician-diagnosed food allergy and their parents were recruited from a Dutch pediatric allergy clinic over a 2 year-period.
Children and their parents completed 2 forms, the Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire (FAQLQ)–Child Form and FAQLQ–Parent Form. Both questionnaires address risk of accidental exposure, emotional impact, allergen avoidance, and dietary restriction. These are both scored on a 7-point scale, with 7 being the maximal impact on quality of life.
Seventy-four child-parent pairs were analyzed; 73% of children had peanut/tree nut allergy, and 84% of children had a history of anaphylaxis. Ninety-one percent of the parents surveyed were mothers. The total FAQLQ–Child Form score was significantly higher than the total FAQLQ–Parent Form score, 3.74 vs 2.68 (P < .001). This indicates a more severe impact on HRQoL for children compared with their parental perceptions. Additionally, the mean difference between child- and parent-reported HRQoL was higher in younger children (8–10 years) than older children (11–12 years).
Children reported a significantly greater impact of their food allergies on quality of life compared with their parental-proxy reports. This demonstrates a difference in perspective between children and their parents, and it is important to recognize this potential discordance in the clinical setting.
This study represents the first published comparison of child and parent-proxy reported HRQoL by using validated measures. There may be cultural differences influencing quality-of-life perceptions in the Netherlands that are not similar in other countries. It would be interesting, however, to conduct larger-scale, multicenter, multinational studies.
- Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics