How Accurately Do Patients Recall Their Prior Skin Test Results?

C.B. Villafuerte, E.A. Leyvas, A. White

Author address: 

Scripps Health, San Diego, CA


RATIONALE: Many patients who present to the allergy clinic have previously had allergy skin testing. These patients often tell us of their previous allergy testing and results. Our aim was to determine how accurate their recollection was. METHODS: Subjects were asked to recall the results of previous testing by one of two methods chosen at random. The first method (A) provided a form listing common allergens asking subjects what their results were. The second method (B) provided a blank paper asking the subject to list the allergens they were tested to and the results. These forms were subsequently compared with the actual skin test results. RESULTS: In a group of 27 subjects, the mean correct recollection was for 70.2% (+/- 17.4%) of the antigens. In patients with method A, the correct recall was 64.7% (+/- 18%) and for method B 77.0% (+/- 14.5%). Subjects had the best recollection for dust mites (92.6%) and pollens (85.2%). Lowest recall was for aspergillus (20%), horse (33.3%) and feathers (33.3%). Correct recall of other allergens of interest was dog at (70.4%) and cat at (77.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Patients do not necessarily have an accurate recollection of their previous testing, even for allergens that physicians likely went over carefully with the patients (dust mites, cats etc). This study highlights the issue of patient education as part of the consultation and follow up visits. We propose better education at the initial visit with nursing directed recaps of allergy testing at each follow up visit.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
    • AAAAI 2010 (66th)