Patient’s compliance with allergen immunotherapy
Cristoforo Incorvaia1, Marina Mauro2, Erminia Ridolo3, Paola Puccinelli4, Massimiliano Liuzzo4, Silvia Scurati4, Franco Frati4,5
1Allergy/Pulmonary rehabilitation Unit, ICP Hospital, Milan, Italy; 2Allergy Unit, Sant’Anna Hospital, Como, Italy; 3University Department of Clinical Sciences, Parma, Italy; 4Medical and Scientific Department, Stallergenes, Milan, Italy; 5Pediatrics, University Department of Medical and Surgical Specialty and Public Health, Perugia, Italy
Background: Allergen immunotherapy (IT) is an effective treatment of respiratory allergy, but requires strict rules of performance. This makes compliance particularly relevant, but thus far only a few studies have investigated this issue.
Methods: We reviewed all the available articles on compliance and adherence with IT in its different forms of administration, ie, subcutaneous (SCIT), sublingual (SLIT), and local nasal (LNIT).
Results: Early studies, when only SCIT was available, reported a low compliance, ranging from 45% to 60%, but the demanding schedules used, with very frequent injections, accounted for this outcome, as shown by patients’ recognition of inconvenience as the major cause of noncompliance. The most recent studies reported a good compliance, estimated in 75% to 90%, to both SCIT and SLIT, inconvenience remaining the major cause of noncompliance, followed by cost of the treatment. The only study addressing LNIT found a very poor compliance (27%), the major cause being the side effects, with repeated nasal reactions to the allergen extract.
Conclusions: Adequate education of patients and optimization of administration schedules, with fine balancing between dose effectiveness and cost, are the factors most likely to achieve further improvement of compliance with IT.
Keywords: allergen immunotherapy, subcutaneous, sublingual, local nasal, compliance, adherence
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