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Management of asthma in adults: Do the patients get what they need—and want?

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Suboptimal asthma control may be caused by a combination of factors, such as nonadherence to guidelines, lack of compliance, and poor asthma education. The aim was to assess patients' knowledge of asthma and different management strategies, including patients' attitudes toward involvement in treatment decisions. The participants (n = 509) were recruited from all parts of Denmark through a web-based panel (Zapera Danmarkspanel). A questionnaire concerning asthma knowledge, compliance, and treatment was fulfilled through the Internet. Among the participating adult asthmatic patients, signs of uncontrolled disease with night asthma (16%), daily symptoms (18%), or exercise-induced asthma (11%) were found. Of 285 participants with persistent asthma, 70% used inhaled corticosteroids. Lung function was measured within the preceding 6 months in 24% of patients, whereas 7% had never had their lung function measured and peak flow monitoring was reported by 5%. Written action plans were provided for 12% of patients and 50% had had their inhaler technique checked. Although 59% of patients were instructed to adjust their controller therapy if needed, only 23% reported that they had done so. In conclusion, this study of adult asthmatic patients revealed an important deficit in patient education, little use of lung function measurements, and poor compliance with guidelines for asthma management. Furthermore, asthmatic patients want more education, although they do not use it when provided by their doctor, indicating that change in educational strategy is needed.
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Keywords: Action plan; adult; asthma; compliance; inhaler technique; management strategy; patient education; questionnaire; self management; self monitoring

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Respiratory and Allergy Research Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, 2: Department of Heart and Lung Diseases, Hvidovre Hospital, 3: Department of Respiratory Diseases, Aalborg Hospital, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark 4: Department of Internal Medicine, Respiratory and Allergy Unit, Roskilde Amtssygehus, and 5: Department of Internal Medicine, Respiratory and Allergy Unit, Hillerød Amtssygehus, Uniersity of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, and

Publication date: 2007-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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