Duration of a cow-milk exclusion diet worsens parents’ perception of quality of life in children with food allergies


In Italy, rigorous studies obtained with specific and validated questionnaires that explore the impact of exclusion diets on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children with food allergies are lacking. In this cross-sectional study, we wished to validate the Italian version of a disease-specific quality of life questionnaire, and assess the impact of exclusion diets on the HRQoL in a cohort of Italian children with IgE-mediated food allergies.


Children on an exclusion diet for ≥1 food were enrolled consecutively, and their parents completed the validated Italian version of the Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire-Parent Form (FAQLQ-PF) and Food Allergy Independent Measure (FAIM).


Ninety-six parents of children aged 0-12 years answered the FAQLQ-PF. The validity of the construct of the questionnaire was assessed by correlation between the FAQLQ-PF and FAIM-PF (r = 0.85). The Italian version of the FAQLQ had good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α >0.70). Factors that mainly influenced the HRQoL were older age, severity of food allergy, and the duration of the cow milk-exclusion diet.


The FAQLQ-PF, validated in Italian, is a reliable instrument. Worse QoL scores were observed among older children, those with severe systemic reactions, and those with a prolonged cow milk-free diet. It is very important to consider the QoL assessment as an integral part of food-allergy management. These results emphasize the need to administer exclusion diets only for the necessary time and the importance of assessment of the HRQoL in these patients.