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Patient. 2017 Feb 4. doi: 10.1007/s40271-017-0217-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Development of a Report Card for Identifying Local Sublingual Immunotherapy Events in Clinical Trials.

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  • 1Merck Research Laboratories, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp., North Wales, PA, USA.
  • 2ICON COA, Bethesda, MD, USA.
  • 3Merck Research Laboratories, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp., North Wales, PA, USA.



The sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) Report Card was developed to capture patient-reported local reactions from the administration of SLIT, based on the World Allergy Organization side-effect grading system. The objective was to evaluate understandability, usability, and translatability of the paper and electronic versions of the SLIT Report Card.


Adults (aged 18+ years), adolescents (aged 12-17 years), and parents/caregivers and their children (aged 5-11 years) participated in two rounds of interviews, testing the paper version in Round 1, and both the paper and electronic versions in Round 2. Interviews assessed comprehension and usability by subjects. Translatability identified potential issues related to translation or cultural relevance.


Ten adults, ten adolescents, and ten parent/child dyads were interviewed. In general, subjects demonstrated a clear understanding of the instrument's content. However, some subjects were uncertain of or suggested clarifying the meaning of certain terms, including tablet, ulcer, taste alteration, uvula, nausea, and itching in the ear. The translatability assessment also identified uvula and nausea as potentially problematic for translation. Subjects could use the electronic device and found navigation 'easy', with only a few minor suggestions made to improve usability. Some wording and formatting changes were made based on subjects' feedback and the translatability assessment.


The SLIT Report Card was refined following best practices for instrument development, including cognitive interviewing, usability, and translatability assessment. The refined SLIT Report Card is appropriate for comprehensively and systematically collecting SLIT-related local reactions directly from subjects in a clinical trial setting, taking into account the World Allergy Organization grading system.

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