Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test (CARAT): dissemination and applications in primary care.
Asthma frequently occurs in association with allergic rhinitis and a combined management approach has been suggested. The Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test (CARAT) is the first questionnaire to assess control of both diseases concurrently. However, to have an impact on healthcare it needs to be disseminated and adopted. In this paper we discuss the dissemination of CARAT in different countries and its possible applications in primary care. At present, the adaptation of CARAT for use in different languages and cultures is being led by volunteer researchers and clinicians in 15 countries. Website and smartphone applications have been developed, and a free open model of distribution was adopted to contribute to the dissemination of CARAT. Examples of dissemination activities include distribution of leaflets and posters, educational sessions on the use of the questionnaire in the follow-up of patients, development of clinical studies, collaborations with professional organisations and health authorities, and the inclusion of CARAT in clinical guidelines. The adoption of innovations is an important challenge in healthcare today, and research on the degree of success of dissemination strategies using suitable methods and metrics is much needed. We propose that CARAT can be used in a range of settings and circumstances in primary care for clinical, research and audit purposes, within the overall aim of increasing awareness of the level of disease control and strengthening the partnership between patients and doctors in the management of asthma and rhinitis.