IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AUSPOLLEN PARTNERSHIP PROJECT AND PRE-EVALUATION SURVEY OF USER PERCEPTION OF THE VALUE OF LOCAL POLLEN INFORMATION [meeting abstract]

Danielle Medek, Constance Katelaris, Bircan Erbas, Edwin Lampugnani, E Newbiggin, Simon Haberle, Alfredo Huete, Paul John Beggs, B Ebert, R van Klinken, J M Davies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Introduction: The AusPollen Partnership aims to provide respiratory allergy patients with accurate, relevant, and localised pollen count information. It is proposed that the information will improve awareness of allergy triggers and empower patients to self-manage their condition, leading to reduced symptoms and improved quality of life. However, consumer perceptions of need and benefit of directly providing local pollen information has not been addressed. Methods: Grass pollen concentrations were counted and distributed by smartphone apps for Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. An electronic pre-season survey was released in October 2016 through the AusPollen apps, Facebook by Asthma Australia and email by ASCIA. Data was acquired on diagnoses, knowledge of triggers, symptom management and medical visits. Open answer questions addressed what, how and why information was sought by users. Results: The survey was completed by 172 respondents; 72% were women and 36% were over 55 years. A doctor or nurse had told 75% and 51% that they had hay fever or asthma, respectively, and 18% reported both. Pollen, grass, wind and dust were the most frequently identified triggers. Symptoms reported were itchy eyes (82%), sneezing (82%), blocked nose (71%), itchy nose/throat (67%), runny nose (62%), difficulty breathing (52%), and up to 40% responded that hay fever affected them daily at work (35%), home (40%), when outdoors (40%) and/or when asleep (28%). The most frequent sources of information were doctor (66%), the web (41%) and pharmacist (35%). 46% of respondents had access to a local pollen count. Of the 61 without access, 93% wanted access for reasons including to be prepared and aware, take medications, and/or avoid going outdoors. Conclusion: This survey confirmed a perceived need amongst the community for access to local pollen count information. Limitations include the small sample size and biases towards older respondents and women. It is likely that multimodal approaches for engaging with users are needed to reach a broader demographic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1pp
    JournalInternal Medicine Journal
    Volume47
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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