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Salma H. Bachelani, OTD, OTR/L; Meredith P. Gronski, OTD, OTR/L, CLA, FAOTA; Kelly A. Carlson, BS, MSOT/S


Food allergies (FAs) have far-reaching implications regarding occupational participation. Children with food allergies and their families experience impacts on their daily life activities. The current standard of care for FAs fails to adequately address the wide-ranging barriers to participation in home, school, and community environments. This study used a mixed-method design to examine the impacts of FA on the needs of children and families affected by FA. Eighteen parents of children with FAs and six health care providers of children with FAs were interviewed; the parents also completed two questionnaires to identify the level of impact of FA on areas of daily living. The results indicated that parents perceive FA as a significant barrier to several aspects of daily life, and parents and health care providers recognized the need for additional supports for families of children with FA. Occupational therapists can intervene to help families with FA improve their participation in daily life activities while managing and limiting exposure to FAs. Expanding the role of occupational therapists to address the needs of families with FAs and recommendations for supporting this population are discussed.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.