Asthma patients not in control: survey

Wednesday, 8 Jul 2015

The level of control people have over their asthma is strikingly lower than recommended in national guidelines, a global study confirms.

The Asthma Management and Insight survey of over 10,000 people with asthma also revealed there had been little improvement in asthma management over the past decade.

People generally had low expectations of asthma management and little insight into how much better they could feel, found the survey that spanned 20 countries.

The findings likely underpin many other observed patterns of behaviour seen in medication adherence and management of asthma, said the study authors including Philip Thompson from the Centre for Asthma, Allergy and Respiratory Research in Western Australia.

A lack of patient knowledge and and conviction regarding treatment goals and recommendations was similar across all regions, results showed.

A “striking” example was more than 60 percent of patients reported that “quick-relief” medication could be used everyday if needed, the study authors said.

Similarly, up to 46% of respondents believed their asthma was well controlled if they had daytime symptoms only three days a week, or if they used “quick-relief” medication only three times a week.

And two-thirds of patients in Australia and the US reported they considered asthma to be well controlled if exacerbations occurred only three or four times a year.

“These countries have access to good health systems and treatments, and yet are the very countries where respondents were accepting of rather than alarmed by frequent asthma exacerbations,” they wrote in the Journal of Clinical Immunology Practice.

“The global AIM surveys reveal an ongoing needed for improvements in asthma care and a better understanding of what constitutes asthma control in the Asian, Australian, Latin American, North American and European populations,” they concluded.

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