Conference Roundup

Managing Patients with Primary Immune Deficiencies

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During a symposium at the 2019 American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Scientific Meeting, several experts discussed ways to better manage patients with primary immune deficiencies including ways to implement more patient-centers care and how to better communicate.

Richard L. Wasserman, MD, PhD, medical director of pediatric allergy and immunology, Medical City Children’s Hospital, said providing simple, truthful communication to patients with primary immune deficiencies is important, although they do not need to necessarily tell the patient everything about their condition, like the increase risk for cancer or autoimmunity, unless they are specifically asked.

“When something comes up, there will be plenty time to talk about that. Getting into those issues at this point does two things: it creates unnecessary fear, and it distracts from the important information that will help them cope with their diagnosis,” Dr Wasserman said.

In addition, Mark Ballow, MD, professor of pediatrics in the division of allergy and immunology, University of South Florida discussed the important of patient-centered care. He stressed that the provider should consider more than just the disease entity but take into consideration the patient’s perspective and preference. How treatment impacts a patient’s quality of life may also impact treatment adherence so it should not be overlooked.


Ballow M, et al. Primary immune deficiency: Optimal care for optimal outcomes. Presented at: American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Scientific Meeting; Nov. 7-11, 2019; Houston.

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