Background and objective: The Spanish version of the health-related quality of life questionnaire for allergy to hymenoptera venom (HRQLHA) has been shown to be reliable, internally consistent, and externally valid. The aim of this study was to complete the validation of the HRQLHA by analyzing its sensitivity to changes (longitudinal validity) using the sting challenge test (SCT) as the variable of change.
Patients and methods: Patients over the age of 17 years with a systemic allergic reaction to Apis, Vespula, or Polistes venom were included during their first year of venom-specific immunotherapy. Patients were assigned to either a group that underwent the SCT or a control group that did not. All patients completed the HRQLHA at baseline and after a period of 2 to 4 months, during which time the SCT was performed in the active group, with no intervention in the control group.
Results: Fifty patients were included in the study: 25 in the SCT group and 25 in the control group. The patients in the SCT group showed a significant improvement in mean HRQLHA score (+0.35, P=.03) after the SCT, while those in the control group showed no significant changes in questionnaire scores.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the sensitivity of the HRQLHA to changes and thus complete the longitudinal validation of the questionnaire. A well-tolerated SCT improves the quality of life of venom-allergic patients as it reduces anxiety associated with the fear of being stung.