December 02, 2015
1 min read

Educational materials, in-home test kit reduces allergen concentration in household

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Patients who received both educational materials and an in-home test kit to screen for dust mites had significantly reduced allergen concentrations in their household, according to recent research published in Journal of Asthma.

“[T]his study demonstrated a possible association between the use of in-home test kits along with educational materials and a reduction in dust mite allergen levels in homes of children with reported dust mite allergies,” Amber K. Winn, MPH, from the division of intramural research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and colleagues wrote. “While the results were mixed, there is at least some evidence to suggest the efficacy of patients’ efforts to reduce allergen levels in the home, which may beneficially influence allergic and asthmatic patients’ and their families’ behaviors and attitudes toward environmental control measures.”

Winn and colleagues reported results from 60 households where children with dust mite allergies aged between 5 years and 15 years were randomly assigned either a combination of educational materials about reducing dust mites and a test kit or educational material alone, according to the abstract. The households that received test kits obtained new kits at 1-month, 2-months, 5-months and 8-months follow-up. The researchers visited all households at baseline, 6 months and 12 months and performed dust sample collection in three households as well as collected information about how the household was reducing dust mites. They used a mixed model analysis to determine the allergy concentration in all homes, which was assessed using immunoassays (Der f/Der p2).

The researchers found that the allergy concentration in areas such as the living room and the children’s bedroom was significantly reduced over time for households that received educational materials and dust mite tests, according to the abstract. Winn and colleagues noted that, while there were some households that did not have significantly reduced allergen concentrations, the overall group of households that received educational materials and dust mite tests had a differential reduction in allergen concentrations. – by Jeff Craven

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.