BACKGROUND: The concept of control is gaining importance in the field of allergic rhinitis (AR), with a visual analogue scale (VAS) score being a validated, easy and attractive tool to evaluate AR symptom control. The doctors' perception of a VAS score as a good tool for evaluating AR symptom control is unknown, as is the level of AR control perceived by physicians who treat patients.
METHODS: 307 voluntarily selected physicians attending the annual (2013) European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) meeting completed a digital survey. Delegates were asked to (1) estimate how many AR patients/week they saw during the season, (2) estimate the proportion of patients they considered to have well-, partly- and un-controlled AR, (3) communicate how they gauged this control and (4) assess how useful they would find a VAS as a method of gauging control. 257 questionnaires were filled out completely and analysed.
RESULTS: EAACI delegates reported seeing 46.8 [standard deviation (SD) 68.5] AR patients/week during the season. They estimated that 38.7 % (SD 24.0), 34.2 % (SD 20.2) and 20.0 % (SD 16.34) of their AR patients had well-controlled (no AR symptoms), partly-controlled (some AR symptoms), or un-controlled-(moderate/severe AR symptoms) disease despite taking medication [remainder unknown (7.1 %)]. However, AR control was assessed in many ways, including symptom severity (74 %), frequency of day- and night-time symptoms (67 %), activity impairment (57 %), respiratory function monitoring (nasal and/or lung function; 40 %) and incidence of AR exacerbations (50 %). 91 % of delegates felt a simple VAS would be a useful tool to gauge AR symptom control.
CONCLUSIONS: A substantial portion of patients with AR are perceived as having uncontrolled or partly controlled disease even when treated. A simple VAS score is considered a useful tool to monitor AR control.
- allergic rhinitis
- visual analogue scale