• understand allergic-disease risk factors;

  • predict the occurrence of such risk factors;

  • adopt behaviors required to avoid or control these factors; and

  • develop self-management skills to translate and use the knowledge they acquire to control allergic risk factors in different contexts.

A relapse prevention component should be included in these programs as well as follow-up studies to assess patient acquisition of allergy-related knowledge and the need for additional educational efforts.

Health Care Providers

Curricula vary in medical schools, often with little focus given to the topic of allergy diagnosis, prevention, and control—an unfortunate situation that should be corrected, especially considering the relationship of allergy to asthma. In addition, improved medical education is important because the majority of health care of the allergic patient is delivered by primary care providers, and the primary care provider is often the patient's main source of information about allergy control.

Recommendation: Incorporate the diagnosis and management of allergic diseases in the curricula and training materials for medical school students, residents in primary care practice, and subspecialists who will subsequently care for patients with allergen-based allergic disease. Nurses, physician assistants, and other non-physician health care providers should receive similar education and training.

Allergic disease should receive additional emphasis at all levels of medical education, across specialties, and in clinical practice. One mechanism to help promote this concept would be to enlist the support and interest of scientific and medical societies.

Recommendation: Encourage scientific societies with expertise in allergy, pulmonary medicine, public health, and occupational and environmental medicine to continue to assess and promote the development of primary prevention strategies for allergic disease.

Engineers, Architects, and Building Maintenance Personnel

As discussed in chapter 7, concerns about the design and operation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems have focussed traditionally on the comfort of the building occupants and the efficiency of the

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