Guidelines for allergic rhinitis need to be used in primary care
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Clinical Practice Guidelines for allergic rhinitis have been developed over the past 15 years and have been found to improve the care for patients with allergic rhinitis. The ARIA (allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma) guideline was the first of these evidenced-based guidelines, developed with primary care physicians. Subsequent guidelines include those by the IPCRG, BSACI, the AAAAI/ACAAI Practice Parameters for the diagnosis and management of rhinitis, and the ARIA 2008 Update. These guidelines were based on various evidencebased models, but the first to use GRADE methodology (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) is the ARIA 2009 Revision. Since primary care physicians treat the majority of patients with allergic rhinitis it is essential that they are involved in the development and implementation of guidelines for allergic rhinitis. Prior to their implementation, guidelines should be evaluated for their accuracy and user friendliness - specifically for primary care physicians - but such validation is rarely performed. This is of great importance, in particular as regards evaluating the applicability of evidence from high quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs) which are often based on highly selected patients not representing the population of patients seen in day-to-day practice.
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