Nasal saline irrigation : prescribing habits and attitudes of physicians and pharmacists

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Tapiala , J , Hyvärinen , A , Toppila-Salmi , S , Suihko , E & Penttilä , E 2021 , ' Nasal saline irrigation : prescribing habits and attitudes of physicians and pharmacists ' , Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care , vol. 39 , no. 1 , pp. 35-43 .

Title: Nasal saline irrigation : prescribing habits and attitudes of physicians and pharmacists
Author: Tapiala, Jesse; Hyvärinen, Antti; Toppila-Salmi, Sanna; Suihko, Eero; Penttilä, Elina
Contributor: University of Helsinki, HUS Inflammation Center
Date: 2021-01-02
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
ISSN: 0281-3432
Abstract: Objectives To explore the opinions, the usage and the patient education given on nasal saline irrigation by physicians and pharmaceutical personnel working in Finland. Design An internet-based survey with predetermined, multiple-choice answers. Setting Primary care centres, occupational health centres and private care centres in Eastern Finland as well as pharmacies in Finland. Main outcome measures Healthcare professionals views, practice and general knowledge of nasal irrigation for sinonasal symptoms and conditions. Results We received 595 completed surveys (110 physicians, 485 pharmacists). The majority of the respondents recommended nasal saline irrigation for their patients either as a symptomatic treatment (98.0%) or to treat a specific condition (97.5%) such as acute rhinosinusitis, chronic rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis. Nasal saline irrigation was also often recommended as a prophylaxis for airway-infections (71.9%) and to enhance the health of the nasal mucosa (58.2%). In general, the possible adverse effects were recognised poorly by both professions. There was a clear difference between the two professions, as physicians were more conservative in recommending nasal saline irrigation and recognised possible adverse effects, such as epistaxis, pain, and dryness of the nose, better (75% vs. 59%, p = 0.002). Conclusions Nasal saline irrigation seems to be a popular treatment recommended by many health care professionals in Finland. Physicians and pharmaceutical personnel had variable opinions on the indications, utility and risks of nasal saline irrigation. There are also clear differences between physicians and pharmaceutical personnel's practices. There is a need to better educate professionals about nasal saline irrigation and to further study whether nasal saline irrigation is efficient and safe option for the different common sinonasal conditions.
Subject: Nasal lavage
patient education
sinonasal symptoms
sinonasal conditions
adverse effects
3141 Health care science

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