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Dust-mite avoidance measures in patients on immunotherapy

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The compliance of dust-mite (DM) allergic patients receiving immunotherapy (IT) with environmental avoidance measures has not been reported. To investigate patient practices, a questionnaire was distributed to patients receiving IT for indoor allergens. Ninety-three of 200 patients (46%) with indoor allergies completed the questionnaire. Of the 93 patients, 69% were allergic to DMs, 45% were allergic to pets, 17% were allergic to mold, and 3% were allergic to cockroaches. Of 64 patients allergic to DMs, 53% reported use of mattress covers, 61% reported use of pillow covers, 81% reduced moisture in their homes, 83% washed their bed linens in water that was >130°F, 77% vacuumed or dusted weekly, and 21% replaced carpets with polished flooring. Fifty-two percent of patients who did not use covers and 49% who did not replace their carpets cited cost as the most common reason. Education about the use of DM covers was reported by 97% of patients allergic to DMs, predominantly by physicians. In conclusion, many patients on IT for DM allergy do not use avoidance measures for decreasing allergen exposure. Cost appears to influence compliance with several measures including protective mattress and pillow covers. It may be unreasonable to require most patients to use such avoidance measures before being candidates for IT.
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Keywords: Allergen avoidance; bedding; compliance; dust mite; education; encasements; environment; home; immunotherapy; questionnaire

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Allergy/Immunology, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

Publication date: 2008-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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