Impact of respiratory symptoms on health-related quality of life and medical resource utilization of patients treated by allergy specialists and primary care providers

Lewis J. Kanter, Charles J. Siegel, Claire Snyder, Elise M. Pelletier, Deborah A. Buchner, Thomas F. Goss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Respiratory symptoms associated with allergy and asthma cause substantial health care burden. Objective: This observational pilot study compared internal medicine/family practice (IM/FP) and pediatric primary care providers with allergists in the diagnosis, treatment, and health-related quality of life (HRQL) outcomes of adults and children with respiratory symptoms. Methods: Two allergists, 2 IM/FP, and 2 pediatricians enrolled 242 patients with respiratory symptoms ages 5 to 16 years old (n = 123) and 17 to 70 years old (n = 119). HRQL questionnaires were completed at enrollment and quarterly for 1 year. The adult questionnaire included SF-36, respiratory symptom role productivity, ITG Asthma Short Form, and allergy symptom index (ASI) scales. The child questionnaire included CHQ-PF28, respiratory symptom family impact, ITG Child Asthma Short Form, and ASI scales. HRQL changes were evaluated over the study period. Results: Adults treated by allergists reported significantly greater improvement in HRQL on 5 of 8 SF-36 scales, the respiratory symptom role productivity scale, 3 of 5 ITG Asthma Short Form scales, and 2 of 4 ASI scales compared with adults treated by an IM/FP (P <0.05). Pediatric patients treated by allergists had significantly greater improvement on 3 of 15 CHQ-PF28 scales, the respiratory symptom family impact scale, and one ASI scale compared with patients treated by pediatricians (P <0.05). Conclusions: Compared with patients treated by primary care physicians, patients treated by allergists reported greater improvement in HRQL in a number of scales. Additional research is required to further evaluate the impact of provider specialty and patterns of care on outcomes of respiratory symptoms patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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