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Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Apr;44(2):80-2.

The perception of allergen-specific immunotherapy among Italian general practitioners.

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  • 1Allergy Unit, Dept of Internal Medicine, Sant'Orsola-Poliambulanza Hospital, Brescia, Italy.



Allergen specific immunotherapy is the only causal therapy for respiratory allergies, and the only treatment that can modify the natural course of the disease. Information and education of patients is essential to successful treatment and, since the General Practitioner is the primary referral, a cooperation between him and the allergy specialists is crucial. We carried out a survey among Italian GPs to asses their knowledge about immunotherapy and their attitude towards it.


A 12-item questionnaire on specific immunotherapy, based on guidelines and literature was prepared by a panel of experts and anonymously e-mailed to 200 GPs of the Italian Society of General Practitioners.


Out of 200 questionnaires 156 were returned and 126 could be evaluated. The 126 respondents accounted for a population of about 300,000 patients. The overall knowledge on subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy resulted to be satisfactory and the attitude towards immunotherapy was generally favourable. On the other hand, only less than 50% of GPs were aware of the exact placement of immunotherapy in international guidelines, and all considered necessary a more detailed information on the treatment.


There is still room for improving the knowledge on specific immunotherapy among general practitioners. This would allow a better synergy between primary care operators and specialists.

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