Oral Immunotherapy–Related Awareness, Attitudes, and Experiences Among a Nationally Representative Sample of Food Allergy Patients/Caregivers

Christopher M. Warren, Anita Roach, Rajeshree Das, Thomas B. Casale, Brian P. Vickery, Richard L. Wasserman, Ruchi S. Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Advances in oral immunotherapy (OIT) have led to recently expanded treatment options for food allergy (FA) patients. However, to inform future outreach efforts and ensure equitable access to emerging treatments, a greater understanding of current OIT-related awareness, attitudes, and experiences is needed. Objective: To characterize current OIT awareness, attitudes, and experiences among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults with FA and parents/caregivers of pediatric patients. Methods: A probability-based sample of U.S. adults and parents/caregivers of children with FA was surveyed about OIT-related knowledge, attitudes, and experiences. Results: Surveys were completed by respondents (n = 781) from all 50 states. Overall, 72% did not know what OIT was prior to the survey. Respondents from households earning over $100,000 or with a college degree each had significantly greater odds of reporting any OIT awareness compared with lower-income (odds ratio 2.0; 95% confidence interval 1.2-3.4) and non–college-educated (odds ratio 1.9; 95% confidence interval 1.2-3.0) respondents. Among respondents familiar or unfamiliar with OIT, 54% and 34%, respectively, reported their expected treatment outcome was to obtain protection against accidental exposure. Among respondents familiar or unfamiliar with OIT, 38% and 35%, respectively, reported their expected treatment outcome to be curing the allergy. Furthermore, 55% of OIT unfamiliar respondents said they would not be comfortable initiating a conversation with their health care provider about their suitability for OIT. Conclusions: This study shows that, among a nationally representative sample of FA patients and pediatric caregivers, awareness of OIT is low, and over 95% of patients lack personal experience with OIT. Furthermore, the data suggest current OIT awareness is disproportionately elevated among wealthier, more highly educated respondents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4087-4094.e3
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Food allergy
  • Food allergy treatment
  • Oral immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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