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Management of asthma in Australian general practice: care is still not in line with clinical practice guidelines


Objective and Background:

We investigated the quality of primary care asthma management in a sample of Australian general practices.


247 general practitioners (GPs) from 97 practices completed a structured interview about management of asthma, diabetes and hypertension/heart disease. A further structured interview with the senior practice principal and practice manager was used to collect information about practice capacity for chronic disease management.


Just under half of GPs (47%) had access to an asthma register and the majority (76%) had access to spirometry in their practice. In terms of routine management of asthma, 12% of GPs reported using spirometry routinely, 13% routinely reviewed written asthma action plans, 27% routinely provided education about trigger factors, 30% routinely reviewed inhaler technique, 24% routinely assessed asthma severity, and 29% routinely assessed physical activity. Practice characteristics such as practice size (p=1.0) and locality (rural/metropolitan) (p=0.7) did not predict quality of asthma management nor did indicators of practice capacity including Business maturity, IT/IM maturity, Multidisciplinary teamwork, and Clinical linkages.


Gaps remain in the provision of evidence-based care for patients with asthma in general practice. Markers of practice capacity measured here were not associated with guideline-based respiratory care within practices.

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Correspondence to Christopher Barton.

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Barton, C., Proudfoot, J., Amoroso, C. et al. Management of asthma in Australian general practice: care is still not in line with clinical practice guidelines. Prim Care Respir J 18, 100–105 (2009).

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