Asthma control and differences in management practices across seven European countriesAsthma control and differences in management practices across seven European countries
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Respiratory medicine. - London, 1989, currens
96(2002), p. 142-149
Failure to follow asthma management guidelines may result in poor asthma control for many patients. The Asthma Insights and Reality in Europe (AIRE) survey, a multi-national survey assessing the level of asthma control from the patient's perspective in seven Western European countries, previously demonstrated that the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guideline goals were not achieved in Western Europe and that both adults and children with asthma were poorly controlled. Using additional data on asthma management practices from each of the seven countries in the AIRE survey, we compared variations in asthma morbidity and asthma management practices across countries to provide insight into the reasons for poor asthma control. Asthma management practices and asthma control among adults and children with current asthma were suboptimal in each of seven countries surveyed. Among patients with symptoms of severe persistent asthma, over 40% reported their asthma was well or completely controlled. School absence due to asthma was reported by up to 52·7% of children and up to 27·6% of adult reported work absence due to asthma. Lung function testing in the past year was uncommon: ranging from 13·5% of children in the U.K. to 68·8% of adults in Germany. Written asthma management plans were used by less than 50% of adults and less than 61% of children in all seven countries. Most adults (49·573·0%) and a large proportion of children (38·470·6%) had follow-up visits for their asthma only when problems developed. The ratio of recent inhaled corticosteroid use to recent short-actingβ -agonist use was inappropriate (<1) among patients with symptoms of severe asthma in all countries. This disparity was greatest among adults in Italy and France, where recent inhaled corticosteroid use was reported by less than one in nine patients reporting recent use of short-acting bronchodialators (IS:SAB <0·11). Management practices differ between countries and additional public health interventions and resources may be necessary to reduce patient suffering. Further efforts to fully implement asthma management guidelines are required to improve asthma control in Europe.