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Allergo J Int. 2017;26(1):16-24. doi: 10.1007/s40629-016-0006-7. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

Visual analogue scales (VAS): Measuring instruments for the documentation of symptoms and therapy monitoring in cases of allergic rhinitis in everyday health care: Position Paper of the German Society of Allergology (AeDA) and the German Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), ENT Section, in collaboration with the working group on Clinical Immunology, Allergology and Environmental Medicine of the German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (DGHNOKHC).

Author information

1
Center for Rhinology and Allergology, An den Quellen 10, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany.
2
Charité Allergy Center, Department of Dermatology, Venereology, and Allergology, Charité, Berlin, Germany.
3
Department and Outpatient Clinic for Dermatology and Allergology am Biederstein, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
4
CHRU, Montpellier University Hospital Center, Montpellier, France.
5
MACVIA-LR, Montpellier, France.
6
INSERM, VIMA, Université Versailles St.-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Versailles, France.
7
Institute for Otorhinolaryngology, Leuven University Hospital, Leuven, Belgium.
8
Institute für Otorhinolaryngology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
9
Group Practice for Dermatology, Erfurt, Germany.
10
Department of Dermatology and Allergology - Department of Dermatology, RWTH University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.
11
ENT Department, Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany.
12
Formerly: Otorhinolaryngology, St. Marien Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany.
13
Pediatric Pneumology and Allergology, AKK Altonaer Children's Hospital, Hamburg, Germany.
14
Christine Kühne Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-Care), Davos, Switzerland.
15
Ear, Nose, and Throat Department, Düsseldorf University Hospital, Düsseldorf, Germany.
16
Dermatology Group Practice, Münster, Germany.
17
Institute of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
18
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Abstract

BACKROUND:

Visual analogue scales (VAS) are psychometric measuring instruments designed to document the characteristics of disease-related symptom severity in individual patients and use this to achieve a rapid (statistically measurable and reproducible) classification of symptom severity and disease control. VAS can also be used in routine patient history taking and to monitor the course of a chronic disease such as allergic rhinitis (AR). More specifically, the VAS has been used to assess effectiveness of AR therapy in real life, both in intermittent and persistent disease.

METHODS:

This position paper takes a detailed look at the historical development of VAS and its method-specific principles. Particular focus is put on aspects of practical application in daily routine and on a critical discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the individual methods.

RESULTS:

VAS are well validated for the measurement of AR symptoms and correlate well with the ARIA (allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma) severity classification and also correlated well with rTNSS and RQLQ. Moreover, several treatment studies on AR have used VAS as an evaluation parameter. Thanks to the use of new (real-life and real-time) communication technologies, such as smartphone apps, Discussion: VAS can be used relatively simply and highly effectively to assess disease control. The VAS lends itself very well to digitization and has now been incorporated into a smartphone app (called Allergy Diary) to assess AR control and direct treatment decisions as part of an AR clinical decision support system (CDSS). MASK Rhinitis has developed this app, which is currently available in 15 different languages.

KEYWORDS:

Allergic rhinitis; Treatment monitoring; Visual analogue scales

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