Purpose: Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is the only curative treatment for allergic diseases, but a few allergic patients receive AIT. In this multicenter cross-sectional study, we aimed to explore patient and physician perspectives on AIT through a questionnaire survey. Materials and Methods: Allergic patients who received subcutaneous immunotherapy for at least 1 year were asked to answer a questionnaire developed by an expert panel of allergen and immunotherapy workgroup in Korea. Results: A total of 267 patients (adults, 60.3%) with allergic rhinitis (91.4%), asthma (42.7%), or atopic dermatitis (20.2%) from referred hospitals completed the survey. Among patients and physicians, respectively, the overall rates of satisfaction with AIT for allergic rhinitis were 86.4% and 83.3% (kappa agreement=0.234, p<0.001), and those for asthma were 85.3% and 72.9% (kappa agreement= 0.373, p<0.001). Moreover, pediatric asthmatic patients reported a significantly higher satisfaction rate than adult asthmatic patients after AIT (p=0.040). Symptom severity (p<0.001, respectively) and drug use for allergic rhinitis and asthma decreased after AIT. However, there was no significant difference in satisfaction rates between children and adults in allergic rhinitis (p=0.736). Interestingly, 35.7% and 35% of allergic rhinitis and asthma patients, respectively, reported experiencing improvement in their symptoms within 6 months of starting AIT. Conclusion: In this study evaluating the perspectives of patients and physicians on AIT, the majority of patients were satisfied with the efficacy and safety of AIT, but not its cost. AIT should be recommended for AR and allergic patients.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (KAAACI).
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2019.
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