Enabling self-management of pollen allergies: a pre-season questionnaire evaluating the perceived benefit of providing local pollen information

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Journal Article
Aerobiologia, 2019, 35 (4), pp. 777 - 782
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10.1007_s10453-019-09602-1.pdf228 kB
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© 2019, Springer Nature B.V. The Australian AusPollen Partnership provides respiratory allergy patients with accurate, relevant and localised pollen information via smartphone Apps. This study aims to evaluate public perceptions of need and benefit of providing local pollen information. Individuals aged 18 years and older were contacted through AusPollen Smartphone Apps (Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne), Australian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Asthma Australia and social media. A pilot questionnaire was developed in consultation with partner organisations, including select questions drawn from the National Young People and Asthma Survey. The questionnaire consisted of four sections: participant demographics, allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms, symptom management and App utility. One hundred and twenty-seven people completed the survey, of whom 53% had access to local pollen information. Most (97%) participants without access to local pollen information indicated that they wanted such a service. Pollen information was most commonly perceived by participants to be useful for prevention and avoidance as well as preparation and planning. This preliminary study identified a public demand for local pollen information. Users identified practical ways in which pollen information assisted them. Publicised pollen concentrations and forecasts have the potential to improve awareness of allergy triggers and empower patient self-management, reducing symptoms and burden of disease.
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