To assess perceptions of children with asthma, parents of children with asthma and Health Care Professionals (HCPs) of asthma symptoms, lifestyle impairment, perceived control and treatment effects using the dataset provided within the AIR study.1 Method: Questionnaire based survey of 687 parents of children aged 0–14 with asthma, 579 children aged 9–14 with asthma and HCPs treating asthma (401 practice nurses and 809 GPs).
Symptom frequency in patients was higher than expected by HCPs, as was reliever use — with 45% of patients using reliever three times per day. 65% described their asthma as “well controlled” yet of these: 37% had difficulty breathing, 34% nocturnal waking, 29% dry cough and 29 % ability to talk adversely affected by asthma at least weekly.
HCPs underestimate asthma symptom prevalence and lifestyle limitation. Many children with asthma and parents appear to perceive significant levels of symptoms, lifestyle restriction and reliance on reliever medication as good control. This perception needs to be challenged if progress is to be made in improving patient outcomes.
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Price, D., Ryan, D., Pearce, L. et al. The burden of paediatric asthma is higher than health professionals think: results from the Asthma in Real Life (AIR) study. Prim Care Respir J 11, 30–33 (2002) doi:10.1038/pcrj.2002.13
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