Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is currently the only immune-modifying treatment for allergic disease. The clinical efficacy of AIT for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma is well documented. However, many factors including inconvenience, cost, side effects, and adherence influence the initiation and persistence with AIT. We sought to evaluate the AIT practice pattern and patients’ attitude and behavior about AIT.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical records of 157 patients received AIT, and compared the clinical characteristics between conventional (CIT) and rush immunotherapy (RIT). A total of 80 were performed a questionnaire survey.
Of 157 patients, 105 (66.9%) were treated with CIT, and 52 (33.1%) with RIT. Frequent hospital visits was the main reason for start RIT. There were no significant differences in allergic diseases, allergens in immunotherapy, and the frequency of adverse reactions during build-up phase. The rate of noncompliance during build-up phase was higher in CIT than RIT (26.7% vs 3.8%). More than half of the patients (67.5%) initiated AIT according to the physician’s recommendation. RIT, initiation of AIT by oneself, longer duration and less allergens of AIT were associated with better treatment satisfaction.
A majority of patients initiated AIT by the physician’s recommendation and showed good treatment satisfaction. Adequate education of patients would improve the effectiveness of AIT.