Objective - to assess and compare perceptions about asthma and its management in asthma patients and health professionals. Design, setting and subjects - a questionnaire survey of patients, administered through 800 pharmacies nationwide, and structured telephone or face-to-face interviews with 809 GPs and 401 practice nurses distributed across England, Scotland and Wales. Results - we analysed 2232 questionnaires completed by 536 children with asthma (24%), 736 parents (33%) and 960 adults with asthma (43%). Although most patients (79%) reported their asthma as well or completely controlled, almost three-quarters had used reliever medication twice or more the previous day and around one-third experienced symptoms at least once a week. Patients described a 'bad asthma day' in terms of inability to carry out activities. Health professional consistently underestimated the level of symptoms experienced by patients, and described bad asthma days in terms of signs and symptoms. Conclusions - healthcare professionals need to focus more on what matters to asthma patients, that is, what they cannot do because of their asthma. We need to find new outcome measures that are sensitive to patients' needs and not based solely on objective improvement in lung function.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1999|