GPs review how well patient asthma is controlled

A new Clinical e-Audit from NPS MedicineWise has been released that will help GPs review just how well patient asthma is controlled.

Survey findings* released last month showed that over half of all respondents to a survey of adults with asthma said they had experienced symptoms in the past four weeks, including wheezing, breathlessness and night waking.

As many as 3% reported needing to go visit a hospital in the past four weeks due to the severity of their wheezing.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says that there is a big difference between what the survey results say and what we know from the evidence. The survey indicated that 97% of adults taking asthma medication are confident they are using their medicine correctly — with 57% saying they’re ‘very confident’ in their inhaler technique — but this doesn’t match with figures from the Australian Asthma Handbook 2014 reporting that  up to 90% of Australians with asthma don’t use their inhaler correctly.

“Many patients think and tell their doctor that they have their asthma under control, but we know that half of all people with asthma live with poor control of their condition and consider this to be normal**,” he said.

“Unfortunately this means that many people are living with asthma symptoms that are having an unnecessary impact on their daily lives.”

The new NPS MedicineWise Clinical e-Audit allows GPs to review patients and how well their asthma is actually controlled then determine management based on regular review of asthma control.

The online audit will help GPs to identify risk factors that may contribute to poor asthma outcomes, and includes asthma treatment for children and adolescents as well as adults.

It also explores the benefits of maintaining an up-to-date written asthma action plan.  A systematic review of 36 clinical trials in adults with asthma reported that people who are provided with self management education including a written asthma action plan have  around 40% fewer hospital admissions, 20% fewer emergency department visits, 30% fewer unscheduled visits to the doctor, 20% fewer days off work or school and 30% less nocturnal asthma.  Despite this, survey findings* indicate that only 18% of those diagnosed with asthma have a written action plan that was written by a doctor.

This latest Clinical e-Audit from NPS MedicineWise is the newest quality improvement activity for the 2014-16 triennium and is recognised for the Practice Incentive Program of the Quality Prescribing Incentive. General practitioners can earn 40 RACGP QI&CPD points or 30 ACRRM PRPD points for completing this activity.

Register free for your CPD activities at

Other NPS MedicineWise asthma resources, including online information hubs for consumers and health professionals, are available at

* Online survey by Galaxy Research of 1,151 adults who have been diagnosed with asthma, undertaken for NPS MedicineWise in July 2014. Full survey results available upon request.

** Marks GB, Abramson MJ, Jenkins CR, et al. Asthma management and outcomes in Australia: A nation-wide telephone interview survey. Respirology 2007;12:212-9



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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