Table 1Study inclusion and exclusion criteria

PICO CriteriaInclusion and Exclusion Criteria
Population and condition of interest (Appendix C, Population)Studies enrolled patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and/or allergic asthma due to airborne allergies.
Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis must have been confirmed by skin tests or RAST and asthma must confirmed by pulmonary lung function (FEV; methacholine challenge).
Studies included adults, the elderly, pregnant women, individuals with severe asthma, monosensitized individuals, minorities, inner-city residents, and rural residents.
Interventions (Appendix C, Interventions)The intervention was SIT alone or with usual care.
SIT preparation must be available for use in the United States
No study of SIT was excluded because of timing or duration of treatment.
We excluded studies where dosage units were NOT specified
Comparisons of interest (Appendix C, Comparators)We included studies that compared SIT (subcutaneous immunotherapy or sublingual immunotherapy ) to any of the following:
  1. Placebo
  2. Any other SIT (any form available in the United States)
  3. Pharmacotherapy (positive control)
  4. Environmental control
  5. Usual care (for example, environmental control, pharmacotherapy)
Studies where SIT was used alone or in combination with any other treatment and compared with the listed comparators or any other treatment
Outcomes (Appendix C, Outcomes Explanations)We included studies that reported the following outcomes:
Primary outcomes
  1. Symptom scores (for rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or asthma)
  2. Medication scores
  3. Combined symptom and medication scores
  4. Quality of life
  5. Safety or harms
Secondary outcomes
  1. Functional test results (PFT, FEV)
  2. Provocational test results (for nasal, conjunctival, or bronchial challenges)
  3. Adherence and convenience
  4. Long-term effects of SIT (disease modification-prevention of sequelae or new sensitivities)
Timing and SettingWe did not impose any limitation on timing or setting.
Study designWe included only randomized, controlled trials

FEV = forced expiratory volume; PFT = pulmonary function testing; RAST = radioallergosorbent test; SIT = allergen specific immunotherapy

From: Methods

Cover of Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis and/or Asthma: Comparative Effectiveness Review
Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis and/or Asthma: Comparative Effectiveness Review [Internet].
Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 111.
Lin SY, Erekosima N, Suarez-Cuervo C, et al.

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