Project Lead:

Dr. Edmond Chan

Co-investigators and Collaborators:

Dr. Lianne Soller, Jennifer Scarr, Dr. Kyla Hildebrand, Daniel Naiman, Susan Conley, Claire Heath, Debbie Rhodes, Jennifer Schneiderheit- Hsu, Barbara Crocker, Kathy Triolet, Jennifer McConnell-Nzunga, Zahra Hussein, Nicole Lee, nurses and students at Pacific Spirit Health Centre, and medical health officers.

Project Description

In January 2017, a Canadian endorsed NIH guideline recommended all infants be introduced to peanuts in non-choking form regularly from 6-months of age onwards to prevent peanut allergy. However, data suggests that many families drive to the parking lot of their local ER to do this or fail to introduce entirely, due to fear of potential allergic reactions. With this in mind, the Early Peanut Introduction project had two primary objectives. The first was to increase the confidence and competence of public health providers in supporting parents with concerns about introducing peanut-containing foods as part of the introduction to solids. The second aim was to provide education to families afraid of introducing peanuts to their infants at home, to increase the confidence and competence of parents making them more likely to offer peanut-containing foods in their homes. This has a larger impact on patient care by successfully preventing peanut allergy through public health nurse education, which will in turn help parents introduce allergenic foods at home. For healthcare providers, confidence in counseling parents about peanut introduction, and about educating families to recognize an allergic reaction, significantly increased from pre- to post-education session, but this confidence increase was not sustained at the 3 month follow up. For parents, confidence introducing peanut at home, and recognizing an allergic reaction, increased from pre- to post-education session, but this increase was only sustained at the 3 month follow up for introduction of peanuts at home. This project also facilitated a novel collaboration between pediatric allergists at BC Children’s Hospital, public health providers at Vancouver Coastal Health, and provincial directors at Child Health BC.

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