Pragmatic randomized controlled trial of a structured allergy intervention for adults with asthma and rhinitis in general practice

Smith, Helen, Horney, Deborah, Goubet, Stephanie, Jones, Christina, Raza, Abid, White, Peter and Frew, Anthony (2015) Pragmatic randomized controlled trial of a structured allergy intervention for adults with asthma and rhinitis in general practice. Allergy, 70 (2). pp. 203-211. ISSN 0105-4538

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Abstract

Background:
It is widely believed that in patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma, avoidance of specific triggers can help improve symptom control and reduce need for medication. Whilst most patients with asthma or rhinitis are sensitized to airborne allergens, primary care diagnostic and management decisions are often made without either obtaining a detailed history of the patient's allergic triggers or performing skin prick tests. Thus, management decisions are empirical and allergen avoidance advice is either not given or, if given, not tailored to the patient's sensitivities.

Method:
To ascertain whether allergy assessment and tailored advice in general practice for patients with asthma and rhinitis enhance well-being, we conducted a pragmatic, open, randomized controlled trial of allergy intervention (structured allergy history and skin prick testing and appropriate advice on allergy avoidance) versus usual care in adult patients with a working diagnosis of asthma and/or rhino-conjunctivitis. Outcomes were assessed after 12 months by an observer who was blinded to allocation. The main outcome measures were asthma and rhinitis symptoms, disease-specific health-related quality of life, generic quality of life and lung function.

Results:
There were no significant differences in baseline demographics or disease characteristics between patients assigned to immediate or delayed skin prick testing. No significant differences were observed between groups for any measures of symptoms, quality of life or lung function at 12 months (all P > 0.05).

Conclusion:
Amongst adults with known asthma and/or rhinitis in primary care, taking a structured allergy history with skin prick tests and giving tailored advice on allergy avoidance made no difference to their symptoms, quality of life or lung function as measured twelve months later.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Division of Medical Education
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine
Depositing User: Christina Jones
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2015 13:45
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 07:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53377

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