The current burden of allergic rhinitis amongst primary care practitioners and its impact on patient management
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AIMS: To investigate the burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) amongst primary care practitioners (PCPs), the impact of AR on PCPs' professional lives, and the effect on their management of AR patients of PCPs' personal experience of AR. METHODS: An online questionnaire was completed by 1201 PCPs (50% AR sufferers) from eight countries. RESULTS: 21% of PCPs reported very well controlled symptoms and 66% quite good control. Six hours work per week, on average, was missed by PCPs whose AR symptoms resulted in absence. AR symptoms affected concentration, stress level, mood, time spent with patients, physical contact with patients, and patient throughput. PCPs with AR reported a significantly higher proportion of AR patients in their practice and gave a significantly higher ranking to specific treatment requests and emotional well-being, and gave a significantly lower ranking to preventing comorbidity development and providing a treatment most likely to result in high patient compliance. DISCUSSION: This is the first study demonstrating the impact of AR on PCPs showing association with lost productivity, absenteeism and reduction in professional performance. Personal experience of AR significantly influences PCPs' management of AR and may improve their AR diagnostic ability.
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