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Real-world physician practices on the diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis in the Philippine setting.

Asia Pacific Allergy 2023 September
BACKGROUND: Physician awareness and adherence to guidelines varies among countries and between types of physician practice. Identifying the needs of the physician and patient is essential to improve patient outcome. Data on physician diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis (AR) in the Philippines is currently limited.

OBJECTIVE: Study objectives are to assess awareness and use of guidelines, practices on diagnosis and management of intermittent and persistent AR, reasons for choice of therapy, and familiarity with immunotherapy.

METHODS: A cross-section of 590 specialist and 223 subspecialist physicians from 17 regions of the Philippines were surveyed from October 2021 to July 2022. Survey consisted of a 12-point validated online questionnaire on knowledge and use of guidelines for diagnosis and treatment, use of diagnostic tests, preferred pharmacologic treatment, preferred adjuvant therapy, reasons for treatment choice, and familiarity with immunotherapy.

RESULTS: Seventy-seven percent of respondents used Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma guidelines for diagnosis and management of AR. Three-fifths of respondents "always" routinely evaluated AR patients' history and performed a physical examination for asthma; 57% of respondents "always" routinely evaluated asthma patients' history and performed a physical examination for AR. Allergy testing was "sometimes" recommended by 62.2%. Oral second-generation antihistamines were the preferred choice for the treatment of intermittent AR. Intranasal steroids were the preferred treatment for persistent AR. Top reasons for choice of treatment were guideline recommendations, efficacy, onset of action, cost, and availability of treatment.

CONCLUSION: Filipino specialists and subspecialists are aware and use guidelines in diagnosis and management of AR. Clinical history and physical examination are the cornerstone of diagnosis. Management practices for intermittent and persistent AR are similar for both groups. Recognizing the role of patient treatment preferences and allergen-specific immunotherapy remains to be a gap in the management of AR by Filipino physicians.

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