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Allergology Review

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  Authority of Polish Society of Allergology

vol 20. no 4. December 2015  

 Original articles
Familiarity with the clinical picture and treatment methods of hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) by Polish general practitioners (GPs)
Gabriela Staroń, Paulina Hościło, Marita Nittner-Marszalska, Anna Hans-Wytrychowska, Anna Wolańczyk-Mędrala

Introduction. The role of general practitioners (GPs) has significantly increased
in the past few decades. Due to the fact that in their offices they
treat patients experiencing hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) symptoms
they have to be familiar with the clinical picture and basic treatment
methods of the disorder.
Aim. To estimate the current knowledge about HVA among primary care
physicians in Poland.
Material and Methods. GPs attending Top Medical Trends 2013 in Poznan
(Poland) were requested to fill in an anonymous questionnaire composed
of 5 items assessing doctors’ knowledge of the clinical aspects of HVA, as
well as some selected aspects of HVA treatment. The questionnaire was
constructed according to the guidelines and recommendations of the
European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).
Results. 308 questionnaires were distributed, 275 were returned and
approved for further analysis. All respondents were GPs specializing in
family medicine (43.6%) and internal medicine (42.2%). Although 99.6%
of the respondents declared knowledge of HVA symptoms only 2.91%
of the questionnaires contained entirely correct answers to the question
regarding this issue. The most common mistakes were: to assume erythema
and pain at the site of insect stinging as characteristic symptoms for
local reaction (91.6%) and to assume that the increase of blood pressure
(63.6%) and lymphadenopathy (58.9%) are symptoms of HVA. Most of
the respondents knew that venom immunotherapy (VIT) is the treatment
of choice. Unfortunately, only 7.3% pointed indications for VIT correctly
and only 46.9% were aware of the high effectiveness of VIT.
Conclusions. The questionnaire revealed major mistakes that Polish GPs
make while managing HVA patients, namely likely over-diagnosis of HVA
and underestimation of the effectiveness of VIT. Both can decrease the
quality of medical care for HVA patients.

keywords: alergia na jad owadów błonkoskrzydłych, immunoterapia, Hymenoptera venom allergy, venom immunotherapy,

pages: from 257 to 263

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