Public Comment Sought On Draft Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking public comment on a draft publication: “Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy.” The public comment period is open for 60 days from March 8 to May 6. Health care professionals and interested members of the public are encouraged to review the guidelines and participate in the open comment period.
Balintfy: New guidelines are being designed to provide standardized information and recommendations to healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies.
Dr. Fenton: Not just an academic text that someone will put up on their shelf in their library in their office, but actually have rolled up in their pocket and be using on a daily basis.
Balintfy: Dr. Matthew Fenton, is chief of the Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He explains that there have been food allergy guidelines in the past.
Dr. Fenton: But they've been largely generated by allergists and used by allergists. And we recognize that this is a clinical condition that’s seen by physicians across a wide variety of specialties: pediatrics, pulmonary medicine, dermatology, emergency physicians.
Balintfy: Experts agree that food allergy is an important public health problem that affects millions of Americans, and may be increasing in prevalence. Though the guidelines are designed for physicians, specialists, and nurse practitioners, the information in the guidelines will ultimately benefit the patient. Dr. Fenton adds that there’s a patient- and family-friendly synopsis in the works as well.
Dr. Fenton: Because we feel that the best way to provide care in this area is not only to have the physicians using a feasible, practical document that’s shared across the various specialties, but also to have the patients be informed and be able to work with their health care professional to get the most out of the document. So, in order to achieve that goal, we’re preparing, in parallel with the guidelines, a patient- and family-friendly synopsis, which will explain in plain English what the various issues are and the topics addressed in the guidelines and to kind of work through, in terms that don’t use a lot of technical jargon, what the pros and the cons of the various points regarding diagnosis and management of food allergy would be as it applies to patients and their families.
Balintfy: But the guidelines are not quite finished. There is a public comment period going on now until May 6. Dr. Fenton hopes professionals in the health care field, patients, their families and policymakers will provide feedback.
Dr. Fenton: "Is this understandable? Is this feasible? Does this make sense from a health delivery point of view?" and make sure that we were able to answer those questions, resolve any ambiguities and provide something that’s very clear and useful.
Balintfy: Dr. Fenton expects the food-allergy guidelines to be updated in the future, but anticipates this first set will be out soon.
Dr. Fenton: We're hoping to complete the 60-day public comment period, analyze those comments, incorporate ones where they’re needed, and to prepare a final document by the summer.
Balintfy: For more information on the Draft Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy, visit the NIAID home page, www.niaid.nih.gov, and search "food allergy public comment." Comments are welcome through May 6, 2010. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Dr. Matthew Fenton
Topic: allergy, allergies, food allergy, guidelines, food allergy guidelines, public comment