Allergic rhinitis is a major chronic respiratory disease that affects between 10% and 30% of adults and up to 40% of children globally. The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of allergic rhinitis and subsequent GRAZAX® grass allergy immunotherapy (AIT) treatment on adults' and adolescents' quality of life.
Clinicians treating allergic rhinitis in the Netherlands and Germany recruited adults and adolescents who had received at least 3 years of GRAZAX® treatment. Telephone interviews were conducted with patients to explore their experience of allergic rhinitis and AIT. Interview transcripts were analyzed using grounded theory methods. Saturation analysis was conducted for impact-related concepts. 3 allergists were also interviewed to explore their experience of treating allergic rhinitis.
15 adults (aged 19-61) and 18 adolescents (aged 11-17) were interviewed. Clinicians and patients reported that before treatment with GRAZAX®, the most common allergic rhinitis symptoms were nose- and eye-related. Together with coping strategies, these had considerable negative impacts on patients' quality of life. Adults and adolescents reported notable improvement or disappearance of symptoms during treatment with GRAZAX®. Symptom reduction during treatment led to positive impacts on social, work/school, and physical functioning, with less need for impactful coping strategies. Some patients experienced oral side effects in the first months of AIT, though these resolved with time. Saturation of impact-related concepts was achieved.
GRAZAX® treatment considerably improved allergic rhinitis symptoms and therefore impacted on daily life for patients during and after at least 3 years of treatment. Despite long recall periods, the consistency of reports between doctors, adolescents and adults, and achieving saturation suggest the robustness of the results; a three year course of treatment with GRAZAX® positively impacts quality of life and supports the existing clinical efficacy data on GRAZAX® treatment.