Psychosocial Impact of Food Allergy on Children and Adults and Practical Interventions

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Current allergy and asthma reports








Anxiety; FPIES; Food allergy; Psychosocial impact; Quality of life; Self-efficacy


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: IgE- and non-IgE-mediated food allergies are increasing in prevalence in children and adults worldwide. A food allergy diagnosis can be associated with a sense of overwhelm and stress and commonly has a negative impact on quality of life. RECENT FINDINGS: While there is an increased recognition of the psychosocial effects of food allergy, the current research reflects the experience of mostly White, well-educated wealthier populations. Some studies have now explored the psychosocial impact among other populations; however, further study is needed. It is important that physicians and allied health professionals screen for the potentially negative psychosocial effects of food allergy and provide education to promote safety and self-efficacy at each visit; however, time may be a limiting factor. Numerous validated questionnaires are now available to help assess the psychosocial impact of food allergies. Allergy-friendly foods are typically more expensive, and thus, it is imperative that physicians screen for food insecurity as well. Educational resources should be offered regarding living well with food allergies at each visit. For patients and families experiencing anxiety or food allergy burden that is difficult to manage, referral to a mental health provider should be considered. Resources regarding programs to help accessing safe foods should also be available. Further research is needed among diverse populations focusing on interventions to best support patients and families with food allergy.


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences