773:
Goals and Motivations of Families Pursuing Oral Immunotherapy for Food Allergy
Monday, March 5, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Joan H Dunlop, MD, Corinne Keet, MD MS PhD
RATIONALE:

We understand little about motivations of families who choose oral immunotherapy (OIT), particularly outside of the research setting. Understanding these goals may guide development of future therapies.

METHODS:

Parents of children treated with OIT were recruited for a web survey using social media and food allergy advocacy list serves.

RESULTS:

123 parents of children aged 1-19 years participated. 33% were in OIT maintenance, 34% in dose build-up, 22% had finished maintenance, and 11% discontinued OIT prematurely. The majority of subjects received non-research based OIT (65%).

Sixty-five percent agreed with a definition of success as “avoiding the food but having a lower rate of reaction than prior to treatment,” while only 19% agreed that success was “eating the allergenic food but having a higher rate of reaction.”

Asked about their primary goal for starting OIT, 75% of respondents chose “Reducing the risk of a fatal food reaction,” 12% “Reducing the hassle of strict avoidance,” and 11% “Being able to incorporate the food into the diet normally.” A significant minority thought there was a high likelihood that their child would have a fatal reaction prior to the initiation of OIT: 28% thought the risk was at least 1 in 100, 18% 1 in 1000, and 54% 1 in 10,000 or less.

CONCLUSIONS: Families who pursue OIT are driven strongly by anxiety about fatal reactions and define success as lowering the rate of allergic reactions to a food. It appears that some families may be motivated by inflated assessment of the danger of untreated food allergy.