Tool Developed to Measure Life Satisfaction, Mental Health for Those with Food Allergies

In a recent letter to the editor, a newly-developed tool to assess one’s satisfaction with life when dealing with food allergy was introduced.

Gabriel Lins De Holanda Coelho, PhD

Credit: Loop

Gabriel Lins De Holanda Coelho, PhD

Credit: Loop

The food allergy satisfaction with life scale (FASWLS) tool was developed to assess those with food allergies’ (FA) satisfaction with life (SwL) and was explored in a recent letter to the editor.1

This research was authored by Gabriel Lins De Holanda Coelho, PhD, from the School of Applied Psychology at the University College Cork in Ireland.

Different studies have shown that the ongoing necessity of cautiousness in avoiding allergens and the fear of unexpected reactions will often lead to negative impacts on the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of individuals with FA.

Coehlo and colleagues note that these prior questionnaires fail to assess the ways in which those affected by FA subjectively appraise their lives.

Background and Findings

“Here we introduce a FA-specific SwL measurement tool,” they wrote. “We adapted the well-known satisfaction with life scale (SWLS) by directing its five items to focus on FA…A disease-specific questionnaire facilitates the measurement of the specific impact of the disease (i.e., FA) across a construct (i.e., SwL).”

The investigators used crowdsourced data and included study participants based upon the following criteria:

  • Having an FA diagnosis
  • Birth country being the United Kingdom or Ireland
  • Having 25 previous participations on Prolific minimum
  • A perfect approval rate (i.e., never failing a study)

Their research indicated that the FASWLS tool had a strong unidimensional structure, with factorial loadings ranging from 0.60 to 0.90. They found that the FASWLS was negatively correlated with FA anxiety and identified a positive correlation with health, emotional impact, risk, and social and dietary limitations.

Overall, the investigators determined that FASWLS was sound, reliable, and useful due to their observation of the tool’s substantial correlations to essential constructs such as SwL. It showed that higher satisfaction with FA life was associated with decreased FA anxiety and higher FA quality of life.

They further state that the FASWLS may be able to enhance research into HRQL by providing a more improved awareness of the link between SwL and FA and by using a standardized approach for subjective experiences of those with the condition.

“Where quality of life questionnaires focus on objective aspects that can influence well-being (such as participants' perceived risk in the FAQLQ), the FASWLS focuses on a cognitive evaluation of life overall, when living with FA,” they wrote. “In practical terms, an individual could have a high FA HRQL due to a low perceived risk, but still have a low evaluation of their own life due to the simple presence of their FA and the burden this brings.”

References

  1. Coelho, G.L.d.H., Lloyd, M., Tang, M.L.K. and DunnGalvin, A. (2023), Food allergy satisfaction with life scale: A complementary measure to health-related quality of life. Clin Transl Allergy, 13: e12233. https://doi.org/10.1002/clt2.12233.
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