Accessing psychological services for children with allergy and their families: A survey of clinician views and experience

Judith Young, Eleanor Minshall

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Objectives: Despite the evidence illustrating that allergy impacts on the psychosocial functioning of children and families, it is unclear to what extent clinicians are able to refer to psychological services. This survey aims to explore clinician views of psychological need and ability to access psychology services.

Method: Professionals attending a regional Allergy Network meeting completed a structured questionnaire. The participant sample (n = 29) was multi-disciplinary: 12 Nurses, 7 Consultants, 5 Dieticians, 2 GPs, 2 Junior Doctors and 1 Nursery Nurse.

Results: Based on their clinical experience, the overwhelming majority (28/29) of professionals strongly agreed or agreed that there is a real need to address the psychological aspects of allergy in children as well as the physical aspects. Almost all of the participants (n = 28; 97%) wanted to be able to access psychology services for parents of and or children with allergy in their care. When
asked, based on their experience, which groups of parents and/or children could benefit from
psychological services: 97% reported those with a history of anaphylaxis; 83% feeding
difficulties; 83% nut allergy; 79% teenagers, 69% fears of needles and/or skin prick testing;
69% those with adrenaline auto injectors. Almost half (48%) reported that parents of children with milk allergy could benefit. Only 43% of respondents (12/28) were able to refer to psychology services. This was either via a general paediatric psychology service or by referral to a clinical psychologist working in an allied paediatric specialty, such as gastroenterology.

Conclusions: These findings illustrate that, despite recognising need, fifty seven per cent of professionals who participated in a Paediatric Allergy Network survey reported that they were not able to access psychological services for children with allergy or their parents. Access to and models of psychology service provision in paediatric allergy require further attention.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2016
EventBritish Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology - , United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Sep 20161 Oct 2016


ConferenceBritish Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • allergy
  • psychology
  • paediatrics

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