Barriers to medication adherence and stress in allergic disease

July 9, 2018

July has arrived and the weather is hot just about any place in the Northern hemisphere that you choose to visit. That may mean you spend a bit more time indoors which could give you more time to peruse the pages of our July 2018 issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Our emphasis in this month’s issue is nonpharmacologic allergy and asthma therapies which focuses on the psychosocial aspects of patient care. There are multiple articles that will have impact on your practice, and I would like to call your attention to two in particular.

The first is written by Beth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP, from Brown University and addresses the importance of effective individualized, patient-provider communication. It also covers systems issues that contribute to this pattern of known medication underuse in many asthma patients. She points out many of the reasons for this disparity and discusses potential strategies for effective intervention in this patient population.

Another paper that I recommend is by Alyssa Oland, PhD and colleagues from Denver who address stress in allergic disease, how to recognize it and approaches to management in our patient population. They elegantly address the different mechanisms proposed to explain the adverse effect of excessive psychological stress on the clinical course of allergic and asthma related diseases. Such mechanisms include direct effects on immune mechanism and adverse effects on medication adherence. The authors offer proposed interventions that depend upon multidisciplinary teams that address the physical, psychological, spiritual and social aspects of patient life and care.

As always, we hope you find these and the other features of this month’s Annals interesting and useful. We always appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to contact me directly with your thoughts.

Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD PhD FACAAI