Managing food allergies at school: A qualitative study


CANER N., SEZER EFE Y., Söyünmez S., BAYAT M.

Journal of Pediatric Nursing, vol.73, pp.58-66, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pedn.2023.08.022
  • Journal Name: Journal of Pediatric Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, MEDLINE, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.58-66
  • Keywords: Children, Food allergy, Mothers, School nursing
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Introduction: The prevalence of childhood allergic diseases, including food allergies, has increased globally. Parents and children have experienced psychosocial and financial difficulties, decreased quality of life, anxiety, and depression in the management of food allergies in schools. Purpose: The aim of the study was to determine the challenges experienced by mothers of children with food allergies during their children's school life. Design: A qualitative phenomenological study design was used. Methods: Online interviews were conducted with 9 mothers who have children with food allergies between June–August 2022. The data were analyzed using the content analysis method. The COREQ checklist was used in the study. Results: The ages of the mothers participating in the study ranged from 28 to 40. Four themes were generated from 75 codes: 1) Problems experienced in the process of utilizing health services, 2) Burden of care, 3) Coming out of the shell: The school process, and 4) Environmental and social perspective. Conclusions: Mothers carried the burden of food allergy management during the school process, and the increased burden of care negatively impacted mothers emotionally, physically, and socially. Also, mothers were anxious about the safety of their school-age children with food allergies and their experiences with school administration, teachers, and other parents made it difficult for food allergy management in the school environment. Clinical relevance: Children with chronic health problems such as food allergies need to be closely monitored by a health professional in school to ensure their safety. Nurses have a pivotal role in supporting families to address their child's food allergies competently, hence fostering positive health outcomes. This study showed that there was a need for the development of school health policies to ensure the safety of children with food allergies and to reduce anxiety and care burden among mothers.