Following member surveys, expert interviews, and roundtable discussions, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) has released new recommendations for overcoming care disparities among those who have atopic dermatitis (AD) and food allergies.
Disparities in care among individuals who have atopic dermatitis (AD) and/or other allergic conditions prompted the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) last year to examine the issue more closely. Their focus was on patients with skin of color, and a summary of the findings appeared recently in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
ACAAI members (200 responded to the 24-question survey request, which represents 4.6% of the total membership), physicians, and advocacy leaders were interviewed, and the ACAAI also held a roundtable discussion “to further explore the challenges and discuss potential solutions.” The survey was available from December 28, 2021, through January 9, 2022; most respondents (68%) were White and in private practice (73%) in a suburban location (61%).
“The roundtable focused on challenges that people with skin of color who have these conditions often experience based on their skin type, their comfort level with health care providers, where they live, and many other sociodemographic factors,” according to a statement on the group’s findings.
On a scale of 0 to 100, respondents noted an average awareness level score of 73 for the challenges people with skin of color face to receiving adequate care for AD and food allergies.
The report included the top 10 reasons the study’s patient population has trouble accessing and receiving care equivalent to that of other races/ethnicities. These reasons gathered from the survey are the following:
In addition, the authors noted, 74% of survey respondents reported inadequate and unhelpful federal, state, local, or association levels of resources “in addressing the identified challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of AD and food allergy for people with skin of color,” the investigators noted.
Following the roundtable discussions, and after incorporating survey findings and data from the interviews, 10 solutions were proposed to make inroads against AD and food allergy care disparities:
These are not hard-and-fast mandates, the report authors emphasized, but instead jumping-off points for further dialog they hope will initiate real change “by health care systems, advocacy organizations, policymakers, payers, the allergy and asthma community, and academia in the lives of people with skin of color and mitigate racial disparities in AD and food allergy.”
Corbett M, Allen A, Bobo N, et al. Proposed solutions by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and advocacy experts to address racial disparities in atopic dermatitis and food allergy. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Published online December 17, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2022.12.017