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The importance of educating postgraduate pediatric physicians about food allergy

Authors Adeli M, Hendaus MA, Abdurrahim LI, Alhammadi AH

Received 6 May 2016

Accepted for publication 8 June 2016

Published 19 October 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 597—602


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Robert Robinson

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Mehdi Adeli,1–3 Mohamed A Hendaus,1,2 Lukman I Abdurrahim,1 Ahmed H Alhammadi,1,2

1Department of Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, 2Department of Clinical Pediatrics, Weill-Cornell Medical College, 3Department of Pediatrics, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Doha, Qatar

Background: Food allergy is an increasing public health burden, and is considered among the most common chronic noncommunicable diseases in children. Proper diagnosis and management of food allergy by a health care provider is crucial in keeping affected children safe while simultaneously averting unnecessary avoidance.
Objective: The rationale of the study was to estimate the knowledge of pediatric residents and academic general pediatric fellows with regard to food allergies in children.
Methods: A cross-sectional and prospective study was carried out at Hamad Medical Corporation, the only tertiary care, academic and teaching hospital in the State of Qatar. The study took place between January 1, 2015 and September 30, 2015.
Results: Out of the 68 questionnaires distributed, 68 (100%) were returned by the end of the study. Among the participants, 15 (22%) were in post-graduate year-1 (PGY-1), 16 (23.5%) in PGY-2, 17 (25%) in PGY-3, 12 (16%) in PGY-4, and 8 (12%) were academic general pediatric fellows. Our trainees answered 60.14% of knowledge based questions correctly. In the section of treatment and management of food allergy in childhood, 23 (34%) of respondents’ main concern when taking care of a patient with food allergies was making sure the patient is not exposed to food allergen, while 22 (33%) reported no concerns. In the section of treatment and management of food allergy in childhood, 22 (33%) of participants reported no concerns in taking care of a child with food allergy, while 23 (34%) of respondents’ main concern was making sure the patient is not exposed to food allergen. In the teaching and training section, 56% of participants stated that they have not received formal education on how to recognize and treat food allergies, while 59% claimed not being trained on how to administer injectable epinephrine. Furthermore, approximately 60% of all participants expressed the need of additional information about recognizing and treating food allergies and recommended certification and regulation of food allergy training for all residents.
Conclusion: There is an appreciable lack of knowledge in identifying food allergy and managing anaphylaxis reaction in children, among pediatric residents. Robust efforts should be implemented by attending immunologists to improve the lack of knowledge and improve the trainee’s confidence when facing such cases.

Keywords: allergy, attitude, food, knowledge, training, management, residents, survey, diagnosis, Qatar

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