Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1497375, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1497375
Research Article

Quality of Life, Stress, and Mental Health in Parents of Children with Parentally Diagnosed Food Allergy Compared to Medically Diagnosed and Healthy Controls

Psychology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Received 29 March 2016; Revised 14 May 2016; Accepted 2 June 2016

Academic Editor: Marek L. Kowalski

Copyright © 2016 Gurkiran Birdi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Food allergy is related to poorer quality of life (QoL) and mental health of caregivers. Many parents diagnose food allergy in their child without seeking medical care and there is limited research on this group. This study investigated parental QoL and mental health in parents of children with parent-diagnosed food allergy (PA), medically diagnosed food allergy (MA), and a control group with no allergy (NA). Methods. One hundred and fifty parents from a general population completed validated measures of QoL, anxiety, depression, and stress. Results. Parents of children with food allergy (PA or MA) reported higher stress, anxiety, and depression than the control group (all ). Parents of children with MA reported poorer food allergy related QoL compared to parents of children with PA (); parents of children with PA reported poorer general QoL compared to parents of children with MA (). Conclusion. Parents of children with food allergy have significantly poorer mental health compared to healthy controls, irrespective of whether food allergy is medically diagnosed or not. It is important to encourage parents to have their child medically tested for food allergy and to recognise and refer for psychological support where needed.