PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
To determine if a brief educational tool developed for pediatricians would be effective in addressing gaps in food allergy knowledge.
US pediatricians (N = 61), including practicing pediatricians recruited from 4 Chicago-area practices, graduates from the Children’s Memorial Hospital residency program, and current members of the Illinois chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A Food Allergy Comprehension Tool (FACT) was developed by pediatricians, pediatric allergists, and health services researchers with support of an expert panel of leaders in the field. This educational tool focused on addressing common food allergy misconceptions among primary care physicians. Pre- and postassessments were administered to pediatricians who completed a Web-based version of FACT between February and March 2010. Statistical analyses were performed to evaluate pediatrician knowledge of food allergy diagnosis, symptoms, triggers, susceptibility, and treatment. The level of comfort in caring for food-allergic children was also assessed.
Sixty-one percent of surveyed pediatricians answered more knowledge questions correctly after reviewing the tool. Time in clinical practice was well distributed, from 1 to 47 years. Sixty-four percent of physicians had been in practice for >10 years. Twenty-three percent had participated in allergy training during residency, but none had fellowship training in allergy. Significant improvements in knowledge were observed regardless of how long a provider had been in practice, but these improvements were higher among those without formal training in food allergy. Comfort in caring for food-allergic children increased significantly on all items postintervention (P < .05).
This study demonstrated that FACT is a rapid and effective way to address known knowledge gaps among pediatricians and could be used to identify areas in need of further intervention.
This study is encouraging because it demonstrates that development of such educational tools for pediatricians can be an effective way to improve knowledge gaps. Such interventions are essential to improve the management of childhood food allergy in the United States.
- Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics