Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Amelia A. Nichols
The prevalence of food allergies is a growing concern in the United States. Approximately 8% of the pediatric population has some form of food allergy. Many of these children are either in the preschool and primary school setting, which is where the majority of allergic reactions occur. If the symptoms of a food allergy reaction are not treated within minutes of exposure, the results can be damaging or fatal. Evidence continues to demonstrate that preschool and school personnel do not feel trained or prepared should a severe reaction arise. The purpose of this evidence-based project was to determine if the implementation and instruction of food allergy guidelines and an educational in-service program on the treatment of food allergies would increase the knowledge and ability of preschool personnel to respond should a reaction occur. The adult learning theory of Knowles and Bandura's theory of self-efficacy were the theoretical frameworks for this project. This project incorporated a 40-minute educational in-service along with the introduction of food allergy guidelines including an emergency action plan and epinephrine auto-injector training. A pretest and posttest were administered prior to and following the educational in-service, respectively. A paired sample t test revealed there was a dramatic increase in knowledge following the educational in-service about food allergy management, recognition, and treatment. Preschool personnel felt more empowered to react should a food allergy reaction occur. By teaching preschool-personnel about food allergies, they will have the necessary resources that will support the creation of a safer environment for children challenged with food allergies.