Assessment of childhood allergy for the primary care practitioner
Article first published online: 5 FEB 2007
2007 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Volume 19, Issue 2, pages 53–62, February 2007
How to Cite
Dowdee, A. and Ossege, J. (2007), Assessment of childhood allergy for the primary care practitioner. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 19: 53–62. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2006.00195.x
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2007
- Article first published online: 5 FEB 2007
- Received: October 2005; accepted: June 2006
- Atopic dermatitis;
- allergic rhinitis;
- specific IgE
Purpose: To update the primary care practitioner on the assessment of common childhood allergic illnesses.
Data sources: Relevant scientific literature and published clinical practice guidelines.
Conclusions: Atopic children often develop symptoms that occur in a predictable progression from atopic dermatitis to gastrointestinal disturbances, chronic serous otitis media, rhinitis, and asthma. Evaluation of allergic symptoms should be based on their chronicity, family history of atopy, and knowledge of how the information will change patient management. Both skin and blood testing are accurate and useful tools in establishing a diagnosis of allergic disease. Management includes avoidance/environmental control, medications, and, when necessary, referral to specialists.
Implications for practice: As the incidence of allergic disease increases, the human and monetary costs associated with allergies place a major burden on our healthcare system. Early identification of allergies and appropriate intervention are important to prevent progression to more significant disease. The use of objective diagnostic testing aids in implementing appropriate evidence-based medical management.