About the project

Allergy-friendly chocolateIn Australia, approximately 6% of young children are affected by food allergies [1], and a recent study conducted in Melbourne found that 10% of one-year-olds “had challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy to one of the common allergenic foods of infancy” [2].
Caring for children with food allergies or intolerances can be stressful and time consuming, especially when parents and other caregivers are dealing with extreme dietary restrictions or severe reactions, when they are responsible for at-home oral food challenges or elimination diets, or when children also have other complex conditions such as eczema or asthma.

As the number of children diagnosed with food allergies and intolerances grows, support groups, online forums and other social networking tools play an increasingly important role in assisting families. This project seeks to understand:

  • the current role played by online resources, including social and mobile software,
  • the everyday information capture and sharing tasks faced by parents and other caregivers, and
  • emerging opportunities for social and mobile software to support families dealing with food allergies.

We welcome involvement both from research collaborators and from families interested in participating in our studies. You can get in touch with us via the contact page, or register your interest in our upcoming studies via our web form.

This project is funded by the Margaret Peel Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011-2014).

[1] Access Economics report for ASCIA, November 2007.
[2] N. J. Osborne et al. Prevalence of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy using population-based sampling and predetermined challenge criteria in infants. J. Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol 127(3), March 2011.