Severe asthma management at your fingertips


By Nicola Garrett

26 Mar 2018

Professor McDonald and Professor Gibson launch the severe asthma tool kit

A practical resource developed by clinicians for clinicians aims to translate the recent knowledge gained in treating severe asthma into clinical practice in Australia.

Launched at the TSANZSRS18 conference here in Adelaide Professor Vanessa McDonald, co-director of the NHMRC Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma, based in Newcastle at the Hunter Medical Research Institute and the University of Newcastle, said the toolkit was developed in recognition that severe asthma was a very different disease to other types of asthma.

“We know there are lots of resources available for both patients and clinicians for managing asthma but we also know that severe asthma is more complex to manage. there are more co-morbidities and increased heterogeneity in terms of the different phenotypes,” Professor McDonald told the limbic in an interview ahead of the official launch.

“As new targeted therapies are developed and we learn more about the underlying mechanisms of asthma, there’s a need to translate these exciting advances into the clinic…but, until now, we haven’t had the resources to guide us in how to implement the management of severe asthma into the clinic or the hospital setting,” she said.

The toolkit gives clinicians the resources they need to manage patients with severe asthma in one easy spot. It includes a number of modules that encompass management, medications, co-morbidities, diagnosis and assessment, paediatrics, as well as a section on living with severe asthma.

Professor McDonald said the toolkit had two essential purposes – to help guide clinician learning and to be used as a practical resource in a clinic or hospital setting.

“The toolkit has been developed in modules so that clinicians can gain an in-depth understanding of the areas of management but then use those resources in the clinic; whether it be patient reported outcome measures, risk assessment tools, or handouts to give to people,” she said.

The toolkit was independently developed by Australian and international respiratory experts with funding from the NHMRC.  Professor McDonald says she hopes the toolkit will also be useful to clinicians in other countries.

“The toolkit has a lot of content that can really translate to any country managing severe asthma because it addresses the core components of severe asthma…and essential management processes that are part of severe asthma management in general” she said.





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