*PRAGMA: Programme de Recherches Appliquées à la Gestion des Maladies Allergiques (J. Dakhil, V. Liabeuf, P. Mathelier-Fusade, F. Payot, J.L. Vacher, P. Villanueva).
ERASM, a pharmacoepidemiologic survey on management of intermittent allergic rhinitis in every day general medical practice in France
Article first published online: 17 MAY 2002
Volume 57, Issue 6, pages 546–554, June 2002
How to Cite
Demoly, P., Allaert, F.-A., Lecasble, M. and PRAGMA (2002), ERASM, a pharmacoepidemiologic survey on management of intermittent allergic rhinitis in every day general medical practice in France. Allergy, 57: 546–554. doi: 10.1034/j.1398-9995.2002.t01-1-13370.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAY 2002
- Article first published online: 17 MAY 2002
- Accepted for publication 23 October 2001
- allergic rhinitis;
- epidemiological survey;
- general practice
Background: The actual management of intermittent allergic rhinitis is still little known about, despite the disease being very prevalent. We used a cross-sectional survey to address this issue in everyday general medical practice in France.
Methods: A total of 1321 general practitioners enrolled 3026 patients consulting for a spring exacerbation of allergic rhinitis. Both doctors and patients filled out a specific questionnaire on allergic rhinitis.
Results: These patients consulted their doctor two-and-a-half weeks, on average, after the onset of their symptoms. They were bothered for an average of six days per week (5.9 ± 1.7 days) and for two months per year (8.7 ± 7.7 weeks) by symptoms which largely exceed the ENT (ear, nose and throat) field, with ocular symptoms (51.7%), pharyngeal irritation (39.0%), cough (30.8%), or respiratory discomfort (17.9%). Of these patients 79.2% had some impairment of their professional life and 91.8% of their daily life. Fifty percent of patients knew to what allergens they were allergic; only 11.1% had additional laboratory tests and 10.3% had subsequent specialist consultation (for most this was with an allergologist). Prescribed drugs were oral antihistamines (92.4%) and nasal glucocorticosteroids (45.2%). Prescriptions were written for a duration of six weeks on average. Seventy-nine percent of patients considered that the information they had received was adequate and easy to understand, but 58.2% of patients would have liked more advice. Furthermore, only 54.7% followed their doctor's prescription scrupulously, and 44% used frequent self-medication.
Conclusions: Intermittent allergic rhinitis is a real health problem because of its increasing prevalence, the induction of impaired quality of life and loss of performance, especially at work. General practitioners play a major role in this disorder; they make the diagnosis, start the treatment, give the relevant information, and monitor most of the patients.