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Keywords:

  • goal setting;
  • intermittent allergic rhinitis;
  • self-management;
  • strategies

Abstract

Objective  Allergic rhinitis is increasing globally despite treatment focussed on pharmacotherapy. This study aimed to (i) examine the range and proportion of symptoms and triggers experienced by patients with intermittent allergic rhinitis (IAR); (ii) conduct a qualitative analysis of strategies devised to control symptoms and triggers; and (iii) measure medication adherence.

Methods  A qualitative and observational study of data drawn from a randomized controlled trial on patients with IAR. Strategies collaboratively devised by participants and pharmacist staff to minimize symptoms and triggers were analysed thematically. In the 10-day observational study, the participants recorded all symptoms and triggers of IAR along with use of medications and these were analysed descriptively.

Results  Number of 124 participants recorded 620 symptoms and identified 357 triggers of IAR. To minimize these, 579 strategies were devised in consultation with pharmacy staff. The frequency and type of strategy varied according to whether the goals were aimed at controlling symptoms or triggers. Adherence to a course of antihistamines over the 10-day trial was self-reported by participants with 36% indicating full adherence.

Conclusion  A large number and range of symptoms and triggers were identified, and individualized strategies were devised to minimize symptoms and triggers. Medication adherence was poor.

Practice implications  Patients with IAR can be assisted to identify their symptoms and triggers and develop relevant strategies to manage these. This approach has the potential to facilitate patient self-management of a chronic and incapacitating condition.