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Update: Allergy training improves quality of life for patients with perennial rhinitis

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VOL: 103, ISSUE: 24, PAGE NO: 38

Research has shown that structured allergy training for primary care health professionals improves the quality of life of patients with perennial rhinitis.

Research has shown that structured allergy training for primary care health professionals improves the quality of life of patients with perennial rhinitis.

In a randomised, controlled trial, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 20 GPs and practice nurses completed the allergy module at Education for Health over a six- month period.

Patients with perennial rhinitis (blocked, runny nose) were randomly allocated to receive care from either a doctor or nurse trained in allergies or from an untrained person (usual care).

They then completed a disease-specific quality-of-life questionnaire that looked at the impact of their nasal symptoms on their quality of life at baseline and at six months after the intervention.

Results showed not only that the trained nurses and doctors were more confident and competent in delivering allergy care but also that patients’ quality of life improved compared with that of patients who had continued with their usual care.

Monica Fletcher, chief executive of Education for Health, said: ‘Most mild or moderate allergy symptoms can and should be managed successfully in primary care with appropriate training.

‘A recent House of Commons Health Committee report on the provision of allergy services echoed this view. Clinical quality markers for allergy care must be included in the GMS contract in the future. Both publications stress the importance of postgraduate training to improve allergy practice in primary care.’

The first article in a five-part series on allergy starts in this issue of Respiratory Nursing see p44.

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2007) 37: 90-99

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