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Physician's recommendation and explanation is important in the initiation and maintenance of allergen immunotherapy

Authors Nam YH, Lee SK

Received 28 July 2016

Accepted for publication 20 September 2016

Published 1 March 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 381—387

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S118368

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Young-Hee Nam, Soo-Keol Lee

Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Republic of Korea


Background: Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is currently the only immune-modifying treatment for allergic disease. The clinical efficacy of AIT for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma is well documented. However, many factors including inconvenience, cost, side effects, and adherence influence the initiation and persistence of AIT, and patients lack knowledge and have misconceptions about the treatment.
Objective: We evaluated the knowledge, attitude, and satisfaction of patients who received AIT.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical records of 167 patients who received AIT, and compared the clinical characteristics between conventional immunotherapy (CIT) and rush immunotherapy (RIT). Ninety-nine patients completed a questionnaire survey.
Results: Of the total 167 patients, 65.9% (n=110) were treated with CIT and 34.1% (n=57) with RIT. More than half of the patients (68.7%) initiated AIT according to their physician’s recommendation. Frequent hospital visits were the main barrier for persistence of AIT. RIT patients were younger and started AIT earlier than CIT patients. The majority (77%) of patients who received AIT were satisfied, with no significant difference between CIT and RIT groups. RIT and fewer allergens used in AIT were related with preference for AIT to pharmacotherapy. The longer duration of AIT was associated with higher treatment satisfaction.
Conclusion: A majority of patients initiated AIT by the physician’s recommendation and were satisfied with treatment regardless of CIT or RIT schedule. Adequate patient education and a strict patient–physician relationship in early AIT period could improve the effectiveness and compliance of AIT.

Keywords: allergen, immunotherapy, compliance

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