Standardized training for healthcare professionals and its impact on patients with perennial rhinitis: a multi-centre randomized controlled trial

Clin Exp Allergy. 2007 Jan;37(1):90-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2006.02619.x.


Background: Perennial rhinitis is common and often results in substantial, potentially avoidable, impairment of quality of life. Quality of rhinitis care has been shown to be sub-optimal in general practice. Rigorous evaluation of educational interventions for healthcare professionals using randomized controlled trials is very uncommon.

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of standardized allergy training for healthcare professionals on patients' disease-specific quality of life.

Methods: Patients with clinician diagnosed perennial rhinitis and/or a prescription for relevant nasal medication were recruited from general practice. Following baseline measurement of quality of life using the validated rhino-conjunctivitis questionnaire (RQLQ), patients were centrally randomized to receive care from an allergy-trained primary healthcare professional or routine care. RQLQ was measured again at 13 months after randomization.

Results: Process measures revealed that the training was well received. 202 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis and 157 in the per-protocol analysis. There was a 0.23 greater mean improvement in quality-of-life scores in the intervention group when compared with controls (P=0.08) in the intention-to-treat analysis, this increasing to a 0.3 greater mean improvement if confined to a per-protocol analysis (P=0.05). The intention-to-treat analysis showed that 39/101 (39%) in the intervention group showed a clinically significant > or =0.5 improvement in RQLQ compared with 28/101 (28%) of controls (risk difference=11%, number needed to treat=9, P=0.1).

Conclusions: Standardized allergy education given to primary healthcare professionals leads to modest improvements in disease-specific quality of life in patients with perennial rhinitis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / psychology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome