Comparison of outcome measures in allergic rhinitis in children, adolescents and adults

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Abstract

Background:

Grass pollen-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (AR) is very common worldwide. However, its symptoms may vary with the patient's age. The present study compared symptom profiles and quality of life (QoL) in children, adolescents and adults with grass pollen-induced AR.

Methods:

This was a four-week, multicentre, observational study of children (aged 6–11), adolescents (12–17) and adults (18–65) consulting specialist physicians in France. The management of AR was at the physicians' discretion. Participants regularly rated their symptoms (the rhinoconjunctivitis total symptom score (RTSS) and a visual analogue scale (VAS)) and QoL (the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ).

Results:

A total of 806 patients (253 children, 250 adolescents and 303 adults, of whom 83.5% suffered from moderate-to-severe, persistent AR) provided data for at least the first 2 weeks of the study. Ocular pruritus (the most bothersome symptom in children (35%), adolescents (22%) and adults (16%)) was associated with poor QoL in all groups, whereas nasal obstruction and pruritus were associated with poor QoL in adolescents and children. Over 4 weeks, the weekly mean RTSS and VAS scores fell by around half. This change was associated with an improvement in the RQLQ scores. In all age groups, the VAS score was well correlated with the weekly mean RTSS score (Pearson's r: 0.79–0.88) and moderately correlated with the weekly mean RQLQ score (Pearson's r: 0.64–0.80).

Conclusions:

In moderate-to-severe grass pollen-induced AR, symptom perception differs in children vs. older patients. However, the assessments of treatment outcomes (using the RTSS, VAS and RQLQ) were similar in all age groups.

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