Prevalence of food allergy in Vietnam: comparison of web-based with traditional paper-based survey

Le, Thi T.K., Tran, Thuy T.B., Ho, Huong T.M., Vu, An T.L., and Lopata, Andreas L. (2018) Prevalence of food allergy in Vietnam: comparison of web-based with traditional paper-based survey. World Allergy Organization Journal, 11. 16.

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Background: Web-based surveys (WBS) are increasingly applied in epidemiological studies as an appealing alternative to traditional survey methods. Rapid data collection, reduced expenditure and ease of access to large populations are some of the clear advantages of online surveys. However, WBS are still subject to limitations in terms of sample size, response rate and other additional biases compared to traditional survey methods. In the present study, we seek to validate data on food allergy (FA) in two independent sample populations collected from a WBS, and compare it to a paper-based survey (PBS).

Methods: Data collected from two survey modes were compared by hypothesis testing for independent sample population. The WBS included 1185 respondents, while the PBS included 9039 respondents.

Results: Overall, the data from the WBS were comparable to the PBS conducted over the same period of time in Vietnamese adults. There were no effects of different survey modes on the lifetime prevalence of doctor-diagnosed FA (5.7%; P = 0.7795, β = 0.05) and IgE-mmcted FA (5.8%; P = 0.9590, β = 0.05). Both surveys showed the dominance of seafood allergy in this population (up to 2.6%), followed by beef allergy. Close correlation was seen in the patterns of FAs and different clinical symptoms. The contribution of family history of allergic diseases and place of residence to FA were confirmed in both surveys.

Conclusions: The consistency of the WBS results with the PBS indicates a promising application of online surveys as an economic and validated model for future epidemiological studies, specifically in developing countries.

Item ID: 55028
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1939-4551
Keywords: Food allergy, Web-based survey, Paper-based survey, Population-based survey, Vietnam, Epidemiological survey, Seafood allergy, Adults, Prevalence
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 1086656
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2018 07:38
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3204 Immunology > 320401 Allergy @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420310 Health surveillance @ 70%
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