Perceptions of asthma control in the United Kingdom: a cross-sectional study comparing patient and healthcare professionals' perceptions of asthma control with validated ACT scores
OPEN NPJ primary care respiratory medicine | 13 Aug 2017
A Menzies-Gow and G Chiu
Perceptions of asthma control often vary between patients and physicians. This cross-sectional survey provided UK-specific data on actual and perceived asthma control in patients (18-75 years) attending routine asthma reviews in primary, secondary and tertiary settings. Differences between healthcare professionals' (HCP) and patients' perceptions of asthma control were evaluated via an online questionnaire and compared to a control-the validated asthma control test (ACT)-which patients completed. Treated patients (at least a short acting ß-agonist) with a documented diagnosis of asthma were enroled and consented within a month of their last appointment. Patients were grouped according to the British Thoracic Society (BTS)/Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) 2014 treatment guidelines (BTS/SIGN steps 1-5). A total of 260 patients were screened: 234 were eligible for enrolment: 33, 52, 50, 49 and 50 patients in steps 1-5, respectively. Seventy per cent (164) were women. The percentage of patients aged 45-64 years was 47.4%. HCPs classed 70% (164) as non-smokers. 84.2% of patients and 73.9% of HCPs perceived that asthma was controlled but ACT results suggest that asthma was only controlled in 54.7% of patients (ACT score ≥20). Patients in steps 4 and 5 had the highest levels of uncontrolled asthma. Correct agreement between ACT score with perceptions of controlled or uncontrolled asthma occurred in 67.9% of patients and 68.8% of HCPs; the poorest levels of agreement occurred in patients in steps 4 and 5. Uncontrolled asthma is common in UK patients. High proportions of patients and HCPs have incorrect perceptions of asthma control, especially in relation to patients with asthma in steps 4 and 5.
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