Accuracy of a questionnaire for identifying respiratory allergies in epidemiological studies

Rosetta Pedotti, Laura Losappio, Mariangela Farinotti, Donatella Preziosi, Irene Tramacere, Chrysi Stafylaraki, Ambra Mascheri, Graziella Filippini, Elide A. Pastorello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The assessment of allergic asthma (AA) and allergic rhinitis (AR) in epidemiological studies is often challenging. We performed a cross-sectional study to test the accuracy of a Questionnaire aimed at Identifying subjects with Respiratory Allergy (QIRA) in a simple and fast way. Methods: One hundred-thirty subjects, 18-76 years of age, admitted consecutively at the Allergy Center of the Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital of Milan were included. The questionnaire (index test) investigated the presence of AA and AR with seven questions enquiring history of symptoms, diagnosis made by a doctor, allergy tests performed, and treatments. After completing the questionnaire, all subjects were subsequently diagnosed by an allergist (reference standard). Results: The accuracy of the questionnaire for the diagnosis of AA and AR was high (sensitivity 94.7% [95% confidence interval CI: 74.0-99.9] and specificity 99.1% [95% CI 95.1-100.0] for AA; sensitivity 82.8% [95% CI 71.3-91.1] and specificity 98.5% [95% CI 91.8-100.0] for AR). Conclusion: The questionnaire significantly distinguished subjects with respiratory allergy from those without. The QIRA represents a valid and accurate tool for classifying subjects as having or not AA and/or AR in epidemiological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Allergic asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Diagnosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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