Background and aim: We used information from questionnaire alone or in conjunction with clinical tests, such as skin-prick testing (SPT) and bronchial responsiveness (BR) testing at entry, to develop models for estimating the probability of the occurrence of specific IgE-sensitization to and respiratory symptoms in contact with laboratory animal (LA) allergens after 32 months training in animal health technology program.
Methods: Four multivariable logistic regression models were developed for each endpoint, consisting of: (1) questionnaire; (2) questionnaire and SPT; (3) questionnaire and BR testing; and (4) questionnaire, SPT, and BR testing. The prognostic models were derived from a cohort of Canadian animal health technology apprentices. The models’ internal validity and diagnostic accuracy were evaluated and compared.
Results: Symptoms indicative for asthma and allergic symptoms at baseline composed the final questionnaire model for the occurrence of occupational sensitization and symptoms. Both questionnaire models showed a good discrimination (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve were 0.73 and 0.78, respectively) and calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow test p-value >0.10). Addition of SPT and/or BR testing increased the specificity of the questionnaire model for LA sensitization, but not for symptoms at work. To facilitate their application in practice, the final questionnaire models were converted to easy-to-use scoring system.
Conclusions: Questionnaire is an easy tool that can give accurate prediction of the incidence of occupational sensitization and symptoms.
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