Development of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ (PedsQL™) Food Allergy Module: An examination of child food sensitivity and health-related quality of life
Type of Degreethesis
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Nearly 10% of U.S. children are affected by food allergy, with peanut allergy being the most common reason for food-induced anaphylaxis. Food allergy has been shown to affect emotional, social, and family functioning; however, a valid English-language health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measure for children with food allergy does not currently exist. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study was to develop items for the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ (PedsQL) Food Allergy Module. This study followed the PedsQL Module Development Methodology which includes conducting a literature review and focus and cognitive interviews with children with food allergy and their parents. After each step of the development process, experts provided feedback about the appropriateness of the items. A literature review of food allergy was conducted to generate open-ended questions for the focus interviews and to develop potential items for the PedsQL Food Allergy Module. A total of 30 participants (13 children ages 5-13 and 17 parents of children ages 2-13) with physician-diagnosed food allergy participated in the focus and cognitive interviews. The literature review resulted in 43 items and the focus interviews resulted in 37 items. Modifications made based upon the results of the cognitive interviews included minor wording changes. No items were removed and no new themes were identified based upon the results of the cognitive interviews and expert feedback. The addition of a food allergy-specific module improves the comprehensiveness of the PedsQL Measurement System and helps to ensure that valid health outcomes assessment in this population is possible.