The growing use of CAM has been found in Europe as well in Italy for chronic diseases, including allergic rhinitis. The study was done for investigating the prevalence and the pattern of use of CAM amongst patients with allergic rhinitis.

A 12-item questionnaire was developed and administered to patients with moderate/severe allergic rhinitis. The items covered topics including the reason for choosing CAM, its clinical efficacy, schedule of treatment, costs, type of therapy.

359 questionnaires in total were analyzed. 20% of the patients declared CAM use. A significant correlation between the use of CAM and female sex and with a higher level of education was observed. CAM users were adults. Youngsters and elderly less frequently used CAM. The most used type of CAM was homeopathy. 60% of users would recommend CAM despite poor clinical efficacy according to 67% of them.

The study concluded through its findings that as allergic rhinitis is not a trivial disease, the use of CAM as the only treatment for it should be discouraged at any level, but by a general practitioner and specialist in particular.