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Biologics at home: what do patients think of it?

Published: April 26, 2022

Biologics are an effective therapy for severe asthma. Administration of biologics at home by patients is likely to facilitate their accessibility. However, little is known about patients’ and health care providers’ perceptions regarding home administration of biologics. The aim of this study was to create more insight into the perceptions and experiences of patients and health care providers regarding home administration of biologics in the context of the treatment of severe asthma.

A qualitative international study was performed in the Netherlands, United States, Australia, and United Kingdom. In each country, 2 focus groups were held with potential/recent and long-term users of biologics at home. Prior to the focus groups, patients were prompted with themes on online forums. In addition, interviews were held with health care providers to discuss salient findings from forums and focus groups. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire study was performed online.

Data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis. This means that all focus groups and interviews were recorded and fully typed out. The resulting transcripts were independently coded by two researchers. Finally, a coding tree was developed based on the codes and themes. The results of this study by Flokstra-de Blok et al. were published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

In total, 75 patients participated in the forums, of which 40 participated in the focus groups. Furthermore, 12 health care providers were interviewed. This study showed that for those using biologics for severe asthma, the benefits of home-administration of biologics usually outweigh inconvenience and side-effects. Guided practice, accessible support contact, and monitoring including social support, should be central in the transition from hospital to home-administration of asthma biologics.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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