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The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology






allergy, Qualitative study, oral immunotherapy program, family experience





RATIONALE: Though research in oral immunotherapy (OIT) and its use in Canadian communities has increased recently, there is a gap in understanding the lives of patients and families doing it. It is hoped that the results of this study will inform physicians, patients, and families about real experiences of OIT to impact practises and education. METHODS: Virtual interviews of patients undergoing OIT and family members were digitally recorded, and transcribed verbatim. We used content analysis from which we identified initial overarching themes. The University of Windsor Research Ethics Board approved this study. RESULTS: To date, we have interviewed thirty participants– fourteen maintenance-phase patients ingesting (;700–1000 mg of peanut protein) aged 6-19, and sixteen adult family members of maintenance phase patients. Findings showed themes consistent with freedom and reduced anxiety were experienced by most patients and families, post-OIT. This is compared to the common theme of restriction, and fear of accidental ingestion, describing the time pre-OIT. Themes of fear of reaction during treatment were common, but many participants stated that being well informed, and in contact with a medical professional, reduced these fears. Many participants talked about changed routines and methods for OIT. CONCLUSIONS: Peanut allergy in a family may produce fear, anxiety, and restrictive lifestyles, which reduce life quality. The added protection of OIT has seemed to increase the wellbeing of participants as well as the families that have reached maintenance phase. The OIT process varies for individuals, but end successes have shown increased wellness in both patients and families.