loading page

Dissemination of EAACI food allergy guidelines using a flexible, practical, Whole School allergy awareness toolkit
  • +2
  • Jennette Higgs,
  • Kathryn Styles,
  • Sarah Bowyer,
  • Amena Warner,
  • Audrey DunnGalvin
Jennette Higgs
Food To Fit Ltd
Author Profile
Kathryn Styles
Food to Fit Ltd
Author Profile
Sarah Bowyer
New Craigs Hospital
Author Profile
Amena Warner
Allergy UK
Author Profile
Audrey DunnGalvin
University College Cork (UCC)
Author Profile

Abstract

Background Essential training for emergency adrenaline auto-injector administration alone provides inadequate safeguard in school environments. Recent UK deaths have reinforced the urgency for embedding whole school (WS) allergy awareness to minimise risk. We document development of a practical, flexible WS Food Allergy Awareness Toolkit for UK secondary schools. Methods We used a multidisciplinary participatory action research methodology, involving successive modification and retesting of a pragmatic toolkit in 3 case study schools. A School Allergy Action Group drives WS risk assessment, helping schools gradually implement best practice policy in line with their particular needs. Additional schools self-piloted the resulting toolkit with only remote monitoring. School surveys, based on EAACI guidelines were developed to identify priorities and assess change. Results Effectiveness of the resulting process toolkit, now available online, was independently demonstrated via pre/post intervention questionnaires from 24/10 pupils with food allergy (FA) and 97/6 pupils without FA, respectively. Pearson correlational analysis showed strong negative relationships between Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire (FAQLQ) at T0 and School Support (SS) at T0 (r=-0.8, p<0.01), and between SS and Self-Efficacy (SE) (r=0.73, p<0.05). Mean FAQLQ scores improved between T0 (3.3) and T1 (2.5). SE improved for those with FA (mean difference =1.0). In those without FA, SE (mean difference =0.9) and Attitudes and Knowledge (mean difference =0.7) also improved. Conclusions Full stakeholder involvement in toolkit development encourages usage and therefore improves WS community awareness; reduces risk of reactions; fosters a more accepting societal attitude; and empowers pupils with/without allergies to self-manage effectively.

Peer review status:Published

24 Sep 2020Submitted to Allergy
25 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
25 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
28 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Oct 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
18 Oct 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
27 Jan 20211st Revision Received
29 Jan 2021Submission Checks Completed
29 Jan 2021Assigned to Editor
31 Jan 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Feb 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Feb 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
24 Apr 2021Published in Allergy. 10.1111/all.14871