Researchers set out to compare asthmacare in patients seen by allergists versus thoseseen by primary care physicians. The studyincluded a random group of 3568 patients withpersistent asthma who were enrolled in anintegrated health care system. Of the patientswho completed the assessment, 1679 used aprimary care physician for their asthma care,884 identified an allergist, 693 reported no regularsource of asthma care, and 195 used apulmonologist.
Patients seeing an allergist for their asthmareported fewer asthma control problems, lesssevere asthma symptoms, higher scores forasthma-specific quality of life and for overallgeneral health, and a better understanding ofhow to manage asthma, as well as greater overallsatisfaction with the care they received.
The allergist group also was less likely tohave overused beta-agonists (rescue medications)and more likely to have received inhaledsteroids. (The findings were reported theJournal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology,December 2005.)