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Free Content Patients' and primary care physicians' beliefs about asthma control and risk

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Patients' and physicians' knowledge of asthma control and risks can affect long-term outcomes. The Asthma General Awareness and Perceptions II (Asthma GAP II) survey sought to assess the beliefs and behaviors of asthma patients and their physicians. In the United States, a telephone survey was conducted among 1885 adults with asthma (representative population sample [n = 1001] plus additional black [n = 436] and Hispanic samples [n = 448]) who took asthma medication in the previous year. An online survey included 300 primary care physicians. Most patients (66, 84, and 78% of national, black, and Hispanic samples, respectively) and physicians (80%) considered asthma a very or extremely serious condition. In contrast to current guidelines, most patients (69, 72, and 70%) believed that quick-relief medications could be taken daily. Many patients (42, 52, and 60%) and some physicians (22%) stated controller medications could be taken less regularly when symptoms decrease, although most patients (92, 92, and 89%) and physicians (95%) indicated that controller medications are most effective when taken daily. Of patients who discontinued controller medications (21%), 71% discontinued when symptoms abated. Most physicians (87%) believed that patients discontinued controller medications without their advice. After controller medication cessation, more black (22%) and Hispanic patients (22%) than patients in the national sample (15%) experienced serious health consequences after an asthma attack. Gaps exist between patients' understanding of asthma control and their use of controller and quick-relief medications. Many patients and physicians fail to recognize that, even with symptom abatement, serious asthma risks remain.

Keywords: Asthma; awareness; control; controller medication; minority; patient; perception; physician; quick relief medication; risk

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 125 South 31st Street, TRL Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3403, USA.

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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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