Doctors, pediatricians, and allergists are not often communicating effectively with the parents of children with allergies, a new study shows. Especially about emergency situations and having a food allergy action plan for home and school.
In a study based on surveys of parents whose children have food allergies, researchers found that less than 70 percent of children recalled allergists explaining when to use epinephrine and less than 40 percent remembered pediatricians doing so. Fewer than that recalled being shown an emergency action plan or how to use an epinephrine injector. This means many healthcare providers are not following the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ guidelines for pediatric allergy treatment.
The study shows a wide gap in communications between parents and food allergy specialists.
The study is the first large scientific look at perceptions of care for children’s allergies based on parental input. The study published on January 12 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.
The study was conducted by Northwestern Medicine and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. It included input form 859 parents who had at least two visits per year with their children’s physician. Its findings coincide with other studies, which have found that many physicians are not, themselves, well-trained in the use of epinephrine auto-injectors or comfortable showing patients how to use them. Many are not aware of the best practice guidelines for allergy treatment.