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Table 1 Sample focus group questions by domain.

From: Food allergy knowledge, attitudes and beliefs: Focus groups of parents, physicians and the general public

Domain Parent Focus Groups Physician Focus Groups General Public Focus Groups
Definition & Diagnosis ▪ In your own words, tell us what a food is. ▪ How do you define anaphylaxis? ▪ What does it mean to you when you hear someone is allergic to a food?
  ▪ How is a food allergy diagnosed? ▪ How do you make a diagnosis of food allergy? What tests do you use? ▪ How does a doctor decide a child has a food allergy?
Symptoms & Severity ▪ What are the signs that make you think your child has a food allergy? ▪ What signs and symptoms alert you to a possible diagnosis of food allergy? ▪ What happens when someone has an allergic reaction to a food?
  ▪ How sick can a child become when they are having an allergic reaction? ▪ Does anaphylaxis require respiratory, laryngeal, or gastrointestinal symptoms? ▪ How sick can someone with a food allergy can be? Could he/she die?
Triggers & Environmental Risk ▪ What do you think causes food allergy (environmental factors, genetics, dietary factors)? ▪ What are the risk factors for development of food allergy (environmental factors, genetics, dietary factors)? ▪ Can your child catch a food allergy?
  ▪ Do you think what the mother ate during her pregnancy makes a difference in whether a child has a food allergy? ▪ What are some co-morbidities associated with food allergy? ▪ Do food allergies run in families?
Perceptions of Susceptibility & Prevalence ▪ How common is food allergy? ▪ To what foods are children most commonly allergic? ▪ In a group of 100 children, about how many of them do you think would have a food allergy?
  ▪ To what foods are children most commonly allergic? ▪ Does the prevalence of food allergy vary by race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status? ▪ To what foods are people most often allergic?
Stigma & Acceptability ▪ Do you feel like you have to explain your child's allergy to friends and family? How well do they accept this? ▪ What kinds of difficulties might children with food allergy and their parents face in school, at home, between parent and child, etc.? ▪ What would you think if your friend told you that his/her child had a food allergy?
Perceptions of Quality of Life ▪ How does having a child with food allergy affect your family and social life? ▪ What are some personal and social issues for the children and families with food allergy? ▪ How hard do you think it is to care for a child with food allergy?
Treatment & Utilization of Healthcare ▪ What are the main ways food allergies are treated? ▪ How can food allergy be prevented? ▪ Do you think food allergy can be treated so that it will go away?
  ▪ How difficult is it for you to follow the doctor's instructions? ▪ What are the key treatments for food allergy? ▪ How do you treat people with food allergy?
Policy Issues ▪ What public policies would help families with children with a food allergy? ▪ What public policies would help families with children with a food allergy? ▪ What laws could help families of children with food allergy?