Management of anaphylaxis in primary care: Canadian expert consensus recommendations
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BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis is often managed inadequately. We used findings from a systematic review of gaps in anaphylaxis management to develop evidence-based recommendations for gaps rated as clinically important by a panel of Canadian allergy experts. METHODS: The nominal group technique (NGT) consensus methodology was used to develop evidence-based recommendations for the management of anaphylaxis in primary care. Physician-specific gaps from our systematic review were prioritized by consensus meeting participants in two rounds, which involved the rating, discussion, and re-rating of gaps. Using current anaphylaxis guidelines, recommendations were then developed for each category of gaps that were identified by the panel as clinically important. RESULTS: Thirty unique physician gaps from the systematic review were categorized according to gaps of knowledge and anaphylaxis practice behaviors. The panel rated diagnosis of anaphylaxis, and when and how to use epinephrine auto-injectors as clinically important knowledge gaps; and rated infrequent or delayed epinephrine administration, low rate of auto-injector prescription, and infrequent or no referrals to allergy specialists after a reaction as important practice behavior gaps. Evidence from four guidelines was used to support the consensus recommendation statements for three resulting categories of gap themes: anaphylaxis management, epinephrine use, and follow-up care. CONCLUSION: We used an NGT consensus methodology to develop an educational resource for primary care physicians and allergists to better understand how to manage patients with anaphylaxis. Next steps include testing our findings against observed data in primary care settings and to develop other strategies or tools to overcome gaps in anaphylaxis management.
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