Current allergy educational needs in primary care. Results of the EAACI working group on primary care survey

Current allergy educational needs in primary care. Results of the EAACI working group on primary care survey

Abstract

The aim of this survey was to explore the specific educational needs of a cohort of European GPs with regards to allergy training so that future educational initiatives may better support the delivery of allergy services in primary care. Method: This study took the form of a cross-sectional observational study in which a structured electronic questionnaire was distributed to primary care providers, in eight languages, across 8 European countries between September 2019 and November 2019. Data associated with demographic parameters, professional qualifications, type of employment, level of confidence regarding competencies for diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases, referral of patients to allergist and preferred method of learning and assessment were collected. A 5-point Likert scale was used to assess level of confidence. Exploratory analysis was carried out. Results: A total of 687 responses were available for analysis, with 99.3% of responders working within Europe. 70.1% of participants were female; and 48.0% and 48.0% of participants respectively had received some undergraduate and/or postgraduate allergy education. Confidence in dealing with different aspect of allergy management differed between countries. The main reason for specialist referral was a perceived need for tertiary assessment (54.3%), and the main barrier for referral was the consideration that the patient’s condition could be appropriately diagnosed and treated in a primary care facility. Up to 44.7% and 55.3% of participants reported that they preferred e-Learning over traditional learning. Conclusions: This study identified the specific areas of skills training and educational needs of GPs in managing allergic conditions in primary care, and provided insights into possible strategies for more feasible and cost-effective approaches.