New tool determines best treatment plan for adults with severe asthma

One in 12 adults and one in 11 children in the United States are living with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The communication between patients and clinicians is an important factor in proper management of a patient's symptoms and treatment.

To help enable stronger communication and understanding between the clinician and patient, the CHEST Foundation, the charitable foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians, Allergy & Asthma Network and American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) have partnered to launch a new digital, interactive Shared Decision Making Tool.

Asthma is a complex, ever changing condition requiring active attention. It affects more than 22 million Americans, and some patients may believe their asthma is well-controlled when it's not--this misconception can be dangerous. The tool sheds light on the importance of self-management, shared decision making between patient and provider and knowledge of the difference between controlled and uncontrolled asthma. It can also assist patients in recognizing when their asthma is severe.

"The CHEST Foundation, Allergy & Asthma Network and ACAAI all believe in the importance of patient and provider collaboration and aim to provide resources that help develop that relationship," said Lisa Moores, MD, FCCP, CHEST Foundation President.

The Shared Decision Making Tool, available online and in print, encourages patients and clinicians to work together to improve self-management skills, choose the best treatment plan and increase adherence. This patient-centered approach aims to improve patient satisfaction and overall outcomes.

In addition to the Shared Decision- Making Tool, the Asthma Severity Assessment Tool was created to improve patient awareness, monitoring and management of asthma symptoms. Based on an individual's responses, this quick assessment helps determine if a patient may need to visit an asthma specialist - a pulmonologist or an allergist.

"We hope these tools will arm patients with the knowledge needed to talk effectively with doctors about their asthma and empower them to achieve optimal health outcomes," said Tonya Winders, Allergy & Asthma Network President and CEO.

"The tool is a step forward in helping direct the conversation between allergists and their patients with asthma," says allergist Bradley Chipps, MD, ACAAI president. "Fully informed conversations regarding asthma treatment mean greater asthma control and ultimately increased relief for those suffering with asthma."

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