Patients beliefs on intravenous and subcutaneous routes of administration of biologics for severe asthma treatment: A cross-sectional observational survey study

Pierachille Santus, Matteo Ferrando, Ilaria Baiardini, Dejan Radovanovic, Alice Fattori, Fulvio Braido

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Background: Understanding how patients generate preferences for administration route alternatives may improve health-care delivery and clinical outcomes. Recently, novel biological therapies with subcutaneous (SC)and intravenous (IV)administration routes have been approved for severe uncontrolled asthma. The aim of our study was to assess the preferred route of biologic therapy administration and related beliefs among patients with severe uncontrolled asthma. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional observational survey study. Patients answered an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire after an outpatient visit in pulmonary disease clinics located throughout Italy. Socio-demographic and clinical information together with the 12-Item Short Form Survey (SF-12), Work Productivity Impairment Scale and the medical resources utilization module of the Health & Work Survey were collected. Patients beliefs and preference towards SC and IV administration were investigated by means of an ad hoc 13 item questionnaire. Results: the main findings: 150 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and completed the questionnaire (47.3% males). Preference for IV and SC administration was 18.7% and 81.3%, respectively. Compared with patients preferring SC formulation, patients that favored IV were older (p ​= ​0.04), less likely to escalate corticosteroid dose (p ​= ​0.03)and had emergency room (ER)access (p ​= ​0.009)during asthma exacerbations. Patients felt that SC was more convenient than IV, but this belief was not associated with higher likelihood of preferring SC administration. IV formulations were more likely associated with quicker and more effective drug action (p ​= ​0.0001), procedural safety and medical oversight (p ​= ​0.0002)and social support (p ​= ​0.007). Predictors of IV preference were represented by the association of worse asthma control and increased use of ER services, and by beliefs toward formulation effectiveness/efficiency in reducing symptoms (p ​= ​0.04 and p ​< ​0.0001, respectively). The model achieved excellent discrimination of administration route preference (area under the curve ​= ​0.87). Conclusions: Preference is guided by partially misleading beliefs, which may generate wrong expectations that in turn can affect treatment satisfaction and adherence. Convenience and efficacy beliefs for drugs with different routes of administration always should be discussed with patients to achieve informed shared-decision making. Trial registration: Not applicable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100030
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Administration
  • Belief
  • Biologic therapy
  • Intravenous
  • Preference
  • Severe asthma
  • Shared decision making
  • Subcutaneous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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