Patient knowledge of immunotherapy before and after an educational intervention: A comparison of 2 methods

Melinda M. Rathkopf*, James M. Quinn, David L. Proffer, Diane C. Napoli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Immunotherapy is an invaluable therapy for allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, and hymenoptera hypersensitivity. It is, however, not without risks. Objectives: To examine patient knowledge regarding immunotherapy and to determine the most effective educational method to improve their knowledge by answering the following questions: Before educational intervention, what is the current knowledge level regarding allergy vaccinations of patients receiving immunotherapy? What effect does an educational encounter have on that level of knowledge? Which educational intervention-a one-on-one session vs a handout-if either, increases patient knowledge more? Methods: An original, self-administered patient questionnaire was distributed to all patients receving immunotherapy. Patients were randomly assigned to a control group, an intervention group that received an educational handout monthly for 2 months, or an intervention group that had a one-on-one educational session with a physician or nurse practitioner. After 3 months, all patients completed an identical follow-up questionnaire. Pretest and posttest scores were compared for each group and among the different groups to determine which method was more effective. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to determine the effect of instruction type on differences in pretest and posttest scores. Results: All 3 groups significantly improved their mean overall questionnaire scores (P < .001). The amount of change was greater in the intervention groups than in the control group, but it did not reach statistical significance (P = .59). Conclusions: Baseline immunotherapy knowledge of allergy vaccination patients was better than expected, and further educational interventions did not significantly improve this knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


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