Early Peanut Introduction and Testing: A Framework for General Pediatrician Beliefs and Practices

Angela Chang, Michael D. Cabana, Taylor N. Laflam, Saharsh Patel, Megumi Okumura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Peanut introduction guidelines have undergone significant reversal since 2001 from recommending delayed introduction to rescinding the recommendations in 2008 to actively recommending early introduction of peanut between 4 and 11 months of age in high-risk infants in 2015. This qualitative study aims to explore pediatrician beliefs, practices, facilitators, and barriers regarding peanut introduction and testing. Methods: General pediatricians from academic, private, large group, and underserved practices in Northern California underwent individual semi-structured interviews in 2017. We asked about experiences surrounding infant peanut introduction, strategies for staying up-to-date with current recommendations, and barriers and facilitators to the new peanut introduction and testing recommendations. The data were coded, and using grounded theory methodology, a conceptual framework was developed around early peanut introduction and testing in infants. Results: Eighteen general pediatricians participated. We identified barriers that may contribute to pediatrician reluctance to recommending early peanut introduction or testing including lack of awareness, lack of agreement, lack of resources, and lack of outcome expectancy. A framework was created that suggests that pediatricians need to be knowledgeable about new recommendations, agree with the recommendations, have resources to carry out the counseling and testing, and have buy-in from the parents in order for successful uptake of peanut introduction guidelines. Conclusion: Recommending early peanut introduction or testing causes significant apprehension in some pediatricians, and there are many barriers to following recent early peanut introduction recommendations. A potential limitation of the study is that it was conducted right after the addendum guidelines were changed, leaving the possibility that attitudes and practices may have evolved since 2017. It is still likely that a multifaceted approach that addresses primary care provider guideline awareness, limited primary care resources for education and testing, and includes support and collaboration from subspecialty practices is more likely to lead to improved early peanut introduction uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric, Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • early introduction
  • food allergy
  • food allergy prevention
  • guideline uptake
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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