PURPOSE:To evaluate in-home photography administered by the subject as a cost effective method in the identification of potential asthma and allergy triggers.
METHODS:The study was a randomized, prospective, pre-test/ post-test intervention design with each subject serving as their own control. Fifty adult subjects with persistent asthma were selected. All subjects were provided with a questionnaire addressing triggers. The subjects were then randomized into two groups. The only difference between the 2 groups was timing of the intervention. The intervention was providing a disposable 27 exposure camera and a list of areas in their home to take pictures. All subjects then completed the same environmental questionnaire used at visits 1 and 2. All film was reviewed with the subject at the 3rd visit. Subjects then received education on triggers identified and cost effective measures to reduce or eliminate exposure.Three of the 50 subjects were randomly selected to receive an in-home assessment by a trained environmental specialist. A comparison of patient photography (cost $13) versus professional visual assessment (cost $300-$400) was then made.
RESULTS:Areas of focus were mold, pollen, dust, strong odor exposure, smoke/fumes, cockroach and fur or feathers. Subjects answered in the affirmative to these exposures in the home an average of 28.1%. Review of photographs identified the above triggers an average of 41%, suggesting that in-home photography can assist the subject in identifying potential triggers. The highest percentages of newly identified triggers were mold, pollens and dust. Photos demonstrating home environmental triggers will be presented. Triggers identified by in-home inspection by an environmental specialist were very similar to those identified by the use of a disposable camera.
CONCLUSION:Preliminary data suggests that use of in home photography is a cost effective means to identifying potential and previously unrecognized triggers in the home.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:Use of in-home photography is a cost effective adjunct to asthma education and the identification of triggers in the home. It may also provide an inexpensive alternative to costly in-home inspections.
DISCLOSURE:Rita Mangold, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information