RESEARCH ARTICLE


Food Allergy Knowledge and Attitudes Among School Teachers in Jazan, Saudi Arabia



Gassem Gohal*
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia


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© 2018 Gassem Gohal.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Gizan 45142, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Email: dr.gassem@gmail.com


Abstract

Background:

Food allergy topic has become more widely discussed in developed countries, but with less interest in Middle Eastern Arabian Countries.

Objectives:

The main objective of this paper is to assess the knowledge and perception of schoolteachers about food allergy.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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).

Conclusion:

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.