Yonsei Med J.  2019 May;60(5):446-453. 10.3349/ymj.2019.60.5.446.

Clinical Efficacy of Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy from Patient and Physician Perspectives

  • 1Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Allergy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Pulmonology and Allergy, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 6Department of Pediatrics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 7Division of Pulmonology and Allergy, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 8Division of Pulmonology and Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea.
  • 9Department of Pediatrics, Eulji General Hospital, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. aym3216@eulji.ac.kr
  • 10Department of Pediatrics, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea. drmesh@gmail.com


Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is the only curative treatment for allergic diseases, but a few allergic patients receive AIT. In this multicenter cross-sectional study, we aimed to explore patient and physician perspectives on AIT through a questionnaire survey.
Allergic patients who received subcutaneous immunotherapy for at least 1 year were asked to answer a questionnaire developed by an expert panel of allergen and immunotherapy workgroup in Korea.
A total of 267 patients (adults, 60.3%) with allergic rhinitis (91.4%), asthma (42.7%), or atopic dermatitis (20.2%) from referred hospitals completed the survey. Among patients and physicians, respectively, the overall rates of satisfaction with AIT for allergic rhinitis were 86.4% and 83.3% (kappa agreement=0.234, p<0.001), and those for asthma were 85.3% and 72.9% (kappa agreement=0.373, p<0.001). Moreover, pediatric asthmatic patients reported a significantly higher satisfaction rate than adult asthmatic patients after AIT (p=0.040). Symptom severity (p<0.001, respectively) and drug use for allergic rhinitis and asthma decreased after AIT. However, there was no significant difference in satisfaction rates between children and adults in allergic rhinitis (p=0.736). Interestingly, 35.7% and 35% of allergic rhinitis and asthma patients, respectively, reported experiencing improvement in their symptoms within 6 months of starting AIT.
In this study evaluating the perspectives of patients and physicians on AIT, the majority of patients were satisfied with the efficacy and safety of AIT, but not its cost. AIT should be recommended for AR and allergic patients.


Allergen immunotherapy; patient satisfaction; surveys and questionnaire

MeSH Terms

Cross-Sectional Studies
Dermatitis, Atopic
Desensitization, Immunologic
Patient Satisfaction
Rhinitis, Allergic
Treatment Outcome*
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