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Adherence to Subcutaneous Allergen Immunotherapy in Southeast Turkey: A Real-Life Study

Tugba S. Tat

Department of Allergy and Immunology, Dr. Ersin Arslan Education and Research Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:8977-8983

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910860

Available online:

Published: 2018-12-11

BACKGROUND: Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) in allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma is a very effective treatment, but adherence is still a serious problem. Studies addressing real-life adherence to SCIT are rare in the literature. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adherence to SCIT in AR and asthma.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The medical records of patients prescribed SCIT for treatment of AR and/or asthma were evaluated. Patients who continued the SCIT treatment as prescribed were defined as adherent, patients who stopped the treatment before the recommended period were defined as nonpersistent, and those who never started the treatment were defined as primary poor adherence. Age, gender, residence, type of SCIT, comorbidities, occupation, income, and adverse reactions were evaluated between these groups.
RESULTS: Ninety-five patients prescribed SCIT for the treatment of AR and/or asthma formed our cohort (female/male: 51/44). The mean (SD) age and duration of SCIT were 32.2±10.0 (range, 17–63) years, 14.4±12.7 (1.0–58.5) months, respectively. Sixty-two (65.3%) patients were adherent, (28.4%) patients were nonpersistent, and 6 (6.3%) patients were primary poor adherent. Nineteen (21.4%) patients had local adverse reactions and one (1.1%) had anaphylaxis. There were no differences between groups for age, gender, residence, type of SCIT, comorbidities, income, or occupation. The most frequent reason of nonpersistence was the cost of treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that adherence to SCIT is low in a real-life setting in southeast Turkey, similar to most previous adherence studies.

Keywords: Asthma, Desensitization, Immunologic, Immunotherapy, medication adherence, Patient Compliance, Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial