Knowledge and Practice Deficits Among Community Pediatric Primary Care Providers Regarding Food Allergy Diagnosis and Management
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Exhibit Hall B2 (Georgia World Congress Center, Building B)
Parisa Kaviany, Hemant P. Sharma, MD MHS FAAAAI, Linda Herbert, PhD, Burcin Uygungil, MD
Rationale:   With recent changes to recommendations on early peanut introduction and negative consequences of inappropriate food allergy (FA) testing, we sought to assess the knowledge of community pediatric care providers regarding FA diagnosis and management.   

Methods:   Community pediatric care providers in the Washington, DC Metro area listened to an educational lecture. Participants completed a pre-test to determine baseline knowledge and practices in FA. 

Results: The study population included 39 health care providers of whom 43% were in practice for over 20 years, 87% in private practice, 77% pediatricians, and 77% females. They saw an average of 5 FA patients per week; 79% ordered FA laboratory tests. Although most self-reported being at least somewhat comfortable at interpreting labs (85%) and managing FAs (79%), knowledge and practice deficits were identified. About 59% of providers incorrectly believed that panel testing should be used for FA diagnosis and 15% recommended avoidance of foods for a positive IgE despite current food tolerance. Eighty-two percent of providers incorrectly would recommend that patients eliminate foods that cause AD flares. Although 74% knew to prescribe epinephrine for FA patients, only 25% knew to provide a FA Action Plan. Most recommended early introduction of milk products (79%), egg (72%), peanut (67%) and seafood (54%) between ages 5-12 months. In a multivariate regression analysis, demographics were not associated with these findings.

Conclusions: These findings confirm a knowledge gap between new FA recommendations and current practice, which indicates a need for a FA educational intervention for pediatric providers.