Table 1

Main themes emerging from focus group interviews

SupportConfirming diagnosisInformation about treatmentSeeing healthcare professionals
Group 1, n=6
Children* (8–11 years)
Concern about lack of support from others and schoolProblem: Children know they have allergy–access to testing and ‘just avoid message’ are a problem.Good information about the allergy, but not about the allergy treatmentCommunication needs to be child friendly with good explanation; make sure children know what is happening. Being listened to.
Group 2, n=7
Parents of children* (8–15 years)
More support after diagnosis
Access to support groups
Problem: referral timeChildren not always told about treatment directly, leaving parents to do itHealthcare staff lack information about child's allergy (particularly GPs and A&E staff).
Group 3, n=4
Young adults* (15–21 years)
Support in/from schoolProblem: referral time, time until tested and getting a diagnosisLack of information in general, length of time to test
Need information about cause and more about treatment
Time to referral and lack of knowledge by some healthcare professionals.
  • *Allergic comorbidities: asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema, food allergies, mastocytosis; often one or more allergic conditions.

  • A&E, Accident & Emergency; GP, general practitioner.