Factors contributing to underuse of epinephrine autoinjectors in pediatric patients with food allergy

Brittany Glassberg, Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, Julie Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Epinephrine autoinjectors (EAs) are the standard of care for severe food allergic reactions, although they are frequently underused or misused. Objective: To understand the factors associated with underuse of EA by caregivers of pediatric patients with food allergy. Methods: A survey was administered to 200 caregivers of pediatric patients with food allergies to assess most severe lifetime allergic reaction, EA education, and use and factors associated with incorrect use or underutilization. Results: A total of 164 surveys were completed; of which 118 (72%) of lifetime most severe reactions warranted EA use, but the EA was used in only 45 (38.1%). Reasons caregivers indicated for not administering the EA included the following: reactions did not seem severe enough; it was the patient's first allergic reaction; use of other medication; and fear of using EA. Conclusion: Multiple factors contribute to underuse of EA in the treatment of severe allergic reactions. Results from this study highlight the need for continuous EA education in caregivers of and pediatric patients with food allergies, using a multipronged approach targeting clear symptom recognition and alleviation of fear of EA use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-179.e3
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Volume126
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

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