Background and Objective: The increasing prevalence of food allergy affects both patients and their families.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of an online educational program designed for parents and caregivers of children with food allergies. The program was developed by a multidisciplinary group comprising health care professionals, researchers, and expert patients under the participatory medicine model.
Material and Methods: Participants took a 2-week online educational program covering major topics in food allergy management. General knowledge about the disease, symptoms, treatment, and topics relevant to families' daily lives were evaluated. The contents included educational videos, online forums, and live video chats. A pretest/posttest questionnaire survey was used to evaluate the impact of the program.
Results: A total of 207 participants enrolled in the educational program, which was completed by 130 (62.8%). Knowledge acquisition improved significantly following participation in the program in 15 out of 30 items (50%), reaching P<.001 for 8 items (26.7%). Of the 207 participants who started the program, 139 (67.1%) visited online forums, and 27.5% attended video chats. Average overall satisfaction with the educational program was 8.78 (on a scale of 0 to 10).
Conclusion: The results obtained show that parents improved their knowledge in all areas of food allergy. The high level of satisfaction among participants suggests that digital learning tools are effective and motivational, enabling patients to acquire appropriate knowledge and thus increasing their quality of life.