The strategies that peanut and nut-allergic consumers employ to remain safe when travelling abroad


Barnett, Julie, Botting, Neil, Gowland, M. Hazel and Lucas, Jane S. (2012) The strategies that peanut and nut-allergic consumers employ to remain safe when travelling abroad. Clinical and Translational Allergy, 2, (1), 12. (doi:10.1186/2045-7022-2-12). (PMID:22776751).

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Description/Abstract

BACKGROUND: An understanding of the management strategies used by food allergic individuals is needed asa prerequisite to improving avoidance and enhancing quality of life. Travel abroad is a highrisk time for severe and fatal food allergic reactions, but there is paucity of researchconcerning foreign travel. This study is the first to investigate the experiences of, andstrategies used by peanut and tree nut allergic individuals when travelling abroad. METHODS: Thirty-two adults with a clinical history of reaction to peanuts or tree nuts consistent withIgE-mediated allergy participated in a qualitative interview study. RESULTS: Travel abroad was considered difficult with inherent risks for allergic individuals. Manyparticipants recounted difficulties with airlines or restaurants. Inconsistency in managingallergen avoidance by airlines was a particular risk and a cause of frustration to participants.Individuals used a variety of strategies to remain safe including visiting familiarenvironments, limiting their activities, carrying allergy information cards in the hostlanguage, preparing their own food and staying close to medical facilities. CONCLUSIONS: Participants used a variety of allergen avoidance strategies, which were mostly extensions ormodifications of the strategies that they use when eating at home or eating-out in the UK. Theextended strategies reflected their recognition of enhanced risk during travel abroad. Theirrisk assessments and actions were generally well informed and appropriate. A need for airlinepolicy regarding allergy to be declared and adhered to is needed, as is more research toquantify the true risks of airborne allergens in the cabin. Recommendations arising from our study are presented.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 2045-7022 (electronic)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Infection, Inflammation and Immunity
ePrint ID: 344355
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2012 15:58
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 20:26
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/344355

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