Supplementary Material for: Dissemination and Implementation of the ARIA Guidelines for Allergic Rhinitis in General Practice

<b><i>Background:</i></b> Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a prevalent problem in general practice. The first evidence-based guidelines for AR, the ARIA guidelines, were published and have been updated repeatedly since 2001 in order to improve the care of AR patients. Very limited information, however, is available on the impact of these guidelines on everyday clinical practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dissemination and implementation of the ARIA guidelines in general practice. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Three hundred and fifty Flemish general practitioners (GPs) were recruited to complete a questionnaire covering their demographic and professional characteristics, awareness, perception and implementation of the ARIA guidelines. To assess compliance with the ARIA treatment recommendations, 4 fictitious case scenarios of AR were presented, in which the respondents were asked to select the treatment of choice. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Of the 350 GPs included, only 31% were aware of the ARIA guidelines and 10% stated that they implement them. For the diagnosis of AR, 71% of the GPs ask specific IgE tests or perform skin prick tests, whereas only 29% perform an anterior rhinoscopy. ARIA users are more likely to screen for concomitant asthma. In the clinical-case section, there was a large variability in proposed therapeutic strategies. Adherence to the evidence-based ARIA treatment guidelines was low, but recent graduation was a significant predictor of compliance with these recommendations. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> The ARIA guidelines remain relatively unknown among Flemish GPs and even those who are aware of them still tend to treat AR independently of the guideline recommendations.