Social Fear Factor Places Adolescents at Highest Risk of Death From Food Allergy

Teens are impacted more by social consequences than by fear of food allergy reactions, causing a possible reluctance to use their medication. These findings were presented today at the 60th Anniversary Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

From the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology :
Parent and Adolescent Perceptions on Food Allergy

DENVER — Teens are impacted more by social consequences than by fear of food allergy reactions, causing a possible reluctance to use their medication. These findings were presented today at the 60th Anniversary Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

Sally Noone, RN, MSN, and colleagues from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, evaluated a self-administered 29 question survey, completed by 37 parent-teen/pre-teen pairs. The surveys were administered at three Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network patient conferences. Twenty-six of the teen/pre-teens had multiple food allergies. While parents reported that 100% of the teens were prescribed epinephrine, the study showed:

Only 53% believed that their child would in fact administer his/her own epinephrine, compared to a 73% response rate in teens

50% of the teens reported being harassed about their allergies

46% of the teens responded that their social activities were shortened up to half the time due to their food allergies compared to a similar rate of 45% indicated by parents

When asked about the most difficult part of their disease, 94% of the teens indicated social isolation, while 50% of the parents identified issues of fear/death. When asked about something good, 63% of the teens named negative items interpreted as good, such as special snacks, while parents emphasized items indicating an increased emotional fortitude.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is really sad. Proper awareness should be created among students. Special programs should be conducted at schools educating everyone about the food allergies and their effects. Social isolation because of food allergies is really something to worry about. This is just because of lack of understand and awareness.

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