News Release

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Sunday, 4 December 2011
Media Contact:

Sofia Dorsano, sdorsano@worldallergy.org

Note to media: See abstract 1011

Interactive patient education online might improve adherence to treatment

CANCÚN – A study conducted to identify gaps between patient concerns regarding allergic and immunologic diseases and the online resources available to them was presented today at the XXII World Allergy Congress of the World Allergy Organization.

José Luiz Rios, MD, and colleagues of the Policlinica Geral do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, found that the majority of visitors to the clinic’s website were most frequently seeking answers regarding dermatologic manifestations of allergy and concerns about medications, rather than respiratory illnesses, which were topics covered more fully by the clinic’s education campaigns.

The study analyzed a random sampling of 1,375 e-mail messages sent to “Blog da Alergia,” (Allergy Blog, www.blogdalergia.com, the website of Clínica de Alergia of the Policlinica Geral do Rio de Janeiro). The researchers also looked at the types of topics of visitor searches as well as demographics including age and gender.

Dr. Juan Carlos Ivancevich, Universidad Del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Editor-in-Chief of the World Allergy Organization website, added his comments about the study. “Educational websites and social networks are being used more and more by lay audiences to find health information. They provide an opportunity for clinicians to better understand and address patient concerns, leading to better prevention of disease as well as improved compliance with treatment strategies. This study is unique to Brazil, but it suggests a positive influence of social networks in increasing awareness of allergy. Routine analysis of website usage and questions from visitors can aid the clinician in planning patient information resources. Further investigation is needed to measure whether electronic media activities will lead to improved health outcomes.”

About the XXII World Allergy Congress
The World Allergy Congress is the biennial scientific meeting of the World Allergy Organization. Meeting attendees gather to learn about the most recent discoveries in allergy, asthma and immunology research and advances in treatment. More than 3,500 physicians and medical professionals from 85 countries will be able to view over 716 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About the World Allergy Organization
The World Allergy Organization (WAO) is an international alliance of 89 regional and national allergy, asthma and immunology societies. Through collaboration with its Member Societies WAO provides a wide range of educational and outreach programs, symposia and lectureships to allergists/immunologists around the world and conducts initiatives related to clinical practice, service provision, and physical training in order to better understand and address the challenges facing allergists/immunologists worldwide. For more information, visit www.worldallergy.org.

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