Main idea: The ARPhyS scale seems the best method to target patients with severe seasonal allergic rhinitis. In the present study optimal discrimination cut-offs were highlighted. This tool could be implemented in a daily practice to identify severe patients who need a specialized intervention.
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a chronic disease affecting a large amount of the population. To optimize treatment and disease management, it is crucial to detect patients suffering from severe forms. Several tools have been used to classify patients according to severity: standardized questionnaires, visual analogue scales (VAS), and cluster analysis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the best method to stratify patients suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis and to propose cut-offs to identify severe forms of the disease. In a multi-center French study (PollinAir), patients suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis were assessed by a physician who completed a 17 items questionnaire and answered a self-assessment VAS. The best discrimination was offered by the ARPhyS scale. With the ARPhyS scale, cut-offs at a score of 8-9 for mild to moderate and 11-12 for moderate to severe symptoms were found. Score reliability was also acceptable for the ARPhyS scale and excellent for the TSS-17 (0.864).