Classification and Coding of Data About IgE-mediated Food Allergic Reactions
Background: Collation of clinical data on IgE-mediated food allergies is essential to provide evidenced-based approaches to managing and treating food allergies and prevent accidental reactions. However, this can be a time consuming and difficult process due to the heterogeneous way in which studies collect such data. In order to facilitate data harmonisation a set of standardised terminologies have been identified and a consensus technique established to code food allergy data.Methods:
... ta.Methods: Different terminologies to encode the most common signs, symptoms and problematic foods associated with IgE-mediated food allergies were identified. Their suitability for classifying and coding information about the signs and symptoms of food allergic reactions, causative foods and reaction severity of was assessed. The assessment included existing conceptual coverage and data descriptions, classification schemes and additional relevant information.Results: All of the terminologies reviewed included classification schemes, allowing broader concepts to be related to those that are more specialised. Additional information was often present such as equivalence. Of the clinical coding systems assessed, the Systemized Nomenclature of Medical Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT) provided the most complete coverage with options to code symptom severity. Only food coding systems, such as FoodEx2, provided comprehensive conceptual coverage of the food terms.Conclusions: Utilising SNOMED-CT and FoodEx2 standards together will support the harmonisation of data regarding food allergy from diverse sources, providing a transparent and effective way to collate relevant data required for effective food allergen management in the future.