Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
Food allergy topic has become more widely discussed in developed countries, but with less interest in Middle Eastern Arabian Countries.
The main objective of this paper is to assess the knowledge and perception of schoolteachers about food allergy.
A cross sectional study was conducted among a sample of 360 school teachers between May 2013 and February 2014 in province of Jazan in Saudi Arabia, using a validated web-based self-administered survey.
The results revealed that almost (59.7%) of the schoolteachers had a medium insufficient knowledge about food allergy; only 17.3% had good knowledge about food allergy. Female teachers had higher knowledge scores (58.5 ± 17.2) as compared to male (51.8 ± 16.0) with statistically significant difference (p = 0.017). The majority of schoolteachers have a significantly poor knowledge in most of food allergy domains. More than half of responders either do not know or they disagree that the food allergy is a serious problem and can lead to death. Regression analysis revealed that participant’s level of knowledge is significantly associated with school teacher’s attitudes towards food allergy (OR = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.39 - 0.92, p = 0.01), practice (OR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.11 - 2.56, p = 0.01), and years of experiences (OR = 1.8, 95% CI; 1.15 - 2.98, p = 0.011).
Knowledge of food allergy among schoolteachers is not adequate, failing to recognize and treat fatal food allergy reactions necessitate an urgent need to set a school policy to improve the food allergy situation.
Keywords: Food allergy, Schoolteachers, Jazan province, Saudi Arabia, School policy, Skin rash, Hives.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Gizan 45142, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org