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Health-Related Quality of Life in Children With Food Allergy and Their Parents: A Systematic Review of the Literature


Z Morou,1 A Tatsioni,2,3 IDK Dimoliatis,1 NG Papadopoulos4

1Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina, Greece
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina, Greece
3Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
4Allergy Department, Second Pediatric Clinic, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2014; Vol. 24(6): 382-395



Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in food-allergic children and their parents can be assessed using generic and specific questionnaires.

Objectives: We investigated whether HRQoL scores in food-allergic children and their parents were similar to normative data and whether they were correlated.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Scopus, and the New York Academy of Medicine Grey Literature Report site. Electronic searches were supplemented by perusal of the references of the papers retrieved.

Results: Seventeen studies were eligible. Two studies compared total HRQoL scores for children with food allergy and normative data and found no significant differences. Six studies compared HRQoL questionnaire subdomain scores for children with normative data, and 4 studies compared the same scores for parents with normative data. Children with food allergy scored worse in subdomains including bodily pain, physical functioning, mental health, general health, and emotional, social, and psychological quality of life. However, they performed better in physical health, and had fewer limitations in schoolwork due to behavioral problems. Parents performed better in subdomains such as physical and environmental health, social and psychological health, and family cohesion but scored worse on social health, overall quality of life, emotional health, impact on parental time, and limitations in usual family activities. Statistically significant
results for these subdomains were not invariably corroborated by subsequent studies. No study provided data on the correlation between children’s HRQoL and that of their parents.

Conclusions: HRQoL of food-allergic children and their parents may differ from that of the normative population in certain subdomains. However, the evidence was not sufficient to draw robust conclusions.

Key words: Child. Adolescent. Parents. Food hypersensitivity. Questionnaires. Quality of life.