The following is a summary of the “Cognitive-behavioral intervention for anxiety associated with food allergy in a clinical sample of children: Feasibility, acceptability, and proof-of-concept in children,” published in the January 2023 issue of Allergy and Clinical Immunology by Dahlsgaard et al.

This study aimed to determine whether a clinical sample of children with food allergy (FAA) would accept and benefit from Food Allergy Bravery (FAB), a brief, innovative, manualized cognitive-behavioral intervention for anxiety. Mainly 3 groups of children (ages 8 to 12) and their parents were provided a FAB course delivered in a group setting because they had clinically impaired FAA. In addition, pretreatment, posttreatment, and 2- to 4-month follow-up ratings of anxiety severity and quality of life were gathered.

All families allowed to participate in FAB did so, with the vast majority of them attending at least 5 of the 6 scheduled sessions and giving the program a positive overall rating. After treatment, all the kids were judged as having either “very much improved” or “much improved” progress on the Clinician Global Impression scale. Both children and parents reported substantial reductions in anxiety severity on the Scale of Food Allergy Anxiety and the Scale of Child Anxiety-Related Emotional Disorders. 

Increased parent satisfaction as measured by the Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire. At the follow-up, improvement remained stable. This is the first evaluation of a standardized psychosocial treatment for FAA in a clinical kid sample receiving outpatient care. The results showed that the FAB intervention regimen is feasible, acceptable, and a proof of concept. Carefully designed randomized trials are required.