How do they identify allergic sensitivity and how important is this?
Thank you for your question.
Allergen sensitivity testing is important for CHAMPS given the strong correlation between allergic sensitivity and asthma, and the fact that allergic exposure frequently triggers asthma symptoms and exacerbations. The intervention is designed to help the patients mitigate and control their asthma, in part, by reducing and controlling their exposures to allergens that cause asthma exacerbations.
We allowed our practices to assess allergic sensitivity through two primary methods - skin prick test and serum IgE testing. Skin prick testing was the method used for screening in the foundational evidence-based interventions, but we one of our practices preferred IgE testing over skin testing. This site was familiar with doing blood work and had a lab in place that could do the assessments, but had not done skin testing previously. This is part of the Adaptation component we discussed in the webinar.
At El Rio we chose 8 indoor allergens (perennial) common to Tucson and 8 outdoor plant allergens (seasonal) to test using skin test prick method. The immediate availability of the results helped convince parents of the importance of various asthma triggers. Three general pediatricians at El Rio were trained in the administration of and the interpretation of allergen skin tests. The asthma counselors were trained in administration of the allergen skin testing.
We at Costa Salud focused on the allergens common to our area. We finished with 12 allergens to be tested and we use IgE blood test since it was difficult to do the skin test prick method at our center.
For the question of importance, is really important to know what your client is allergic to tailor the intervention to there specific needs. Dr. Mitchell metion that in the first asthma educations , patients and caregivers where educated on so many things that it was overwhelming for them. CHAMPs is different in a way that permits a tailoring of the message that works with that specific patient. Why am I gonna tell the patient eliminate his/her dog if he/she is not allergic to it? The allergy testing works with "on the point" counseling and with that information you could use your time for a more precise education on what the patient is really allergic and what enviromental changes he/she has to do to get better.
I hope this answers your questions.
Thanks for your interest in CHAMPS and follow asthmacommunitynetwork.org forum for more information.