Optimization of care for patients with hereditary angioedema living in rural areas

Marc A. Riedl, Douglas T. Johnston, John Anderson, J. Allen Meadows, Daniel Soteres, Stephen B. LeBlanc, H. James Wedner, David M. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: People living in rural areas of the United States experience greater health inequality than individuals residing in urban or suburban locations and encounter several barriers to obtaining optimal health care. Health disparities are compounded for patients with rare diseases such as hereditary angioedema (HAE), an autosomal dominant genetic disorder characterized by recurrent, severe abdominal pain and life-threatening oropharyngeal or laryngeal swelling. Objective: To explore the challenges of managing patients with HAE in rural areas and suggest possible improvements for optimizing care. Data Sources: PubMed was searched for articles on patient care management, treatment challenges, rural health, and HAE. Study Selections: Relevant articles were selected and reviewed. Results: Challenges in managing HAE in the rural setting were identified, including obtaining a diagnosis of HAE, easy access to a physician with expertise in HAE, continuity of care, availability of telemedicine services, access to approved HAE therapies, patient education, and economic barriers to treatment. Ways to improve HAE patient care in rural areas include health care provider recognition of the patient with undiagnosed HAE, development of individualized management plans, expansion of telemedicine, effective care at the local level, appropriate access to HAE medication, and increased awareness of patient support and advocacy groups. Conclusion: For patients with HAE living in rural areas, optimal care is complicated by health disparities. Given the scarcity with which these topics have been covered in the literature to date, it is intended that this article will serve as the impetus for a range of further initiatives focused on improving access to care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-533
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Volume128
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

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