Patient quality of life improves following successful completion of oral immunotherapy (OIT), but the process itself might have undesirable effects. We aimed to evaluate patient quality of life following OIT initial induction.Methods:
The Hebrew version of the Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire-Parental Form (FAQLQ-PF) was validated and administered to the parents of children following the first week of OIT for food allergy (n = 119). Patient demographics and clinical history as well as the course of initial induction week were reviewed.Results:
Pre-OIT severity of food allergy, defined as severity of reactions due to accidental exposure to the allergenic food (anaphylactic reactions, p = 0.017; epinephrine use, p = 0.049; emergency room referrals p = 0.003; and hospital admissions, p = 0.015) and a lower number of tolerated doses during initial induction, reflective of a lower maximal tolerated dose for the different allergens (p = 0.011) were associated with worse total FAQLQ-PF scores. The number of tolerated doses during induction and pre-OIT emergency room referrals remained significantly associated with worse total score of the FAQLQ-PF on multivariate analysis (p = 0.016 and p = 0.005, respectively). The correlation between the number of tolerated doses and quality of life scores was moderate–strong primarily in children aged 6–12 years (Total score, r = −0.41, p = 0.001; Emotional Impact r = −0.42, p = 0.001; Food Anxiety, r = −0.38, p = 0.002; Social and Dietary Limitations, r = −0.33, p = 0.009).Conclusions:
Pre-OIT reaction severity affects quality of life in both preschool and school-aged food-allergic children. In contrast, a lower maximal tolerated dose during OIT induction is associated with worse indices of quality of life primarily in children aged 6–12 years.