The current treatment of asthma in the UK is rightfully seen as a triumph of chronic disease management within a primary care setting. Almost all routine asthma care and, increasingly, elements of acute asthma care, are now provided in general practice. Over the past twenty years, significant effort and investment have gone into the production […]
One person in every five households in the UK is receiving treatment for asthma,
according to latest figures. As well as treatment for asthma, many of these individuals
also self-medicate for minor illnesses or require prescribed medication for other
conditions. It is important that the drugs they take do not adversely affect their asthma
control. In this article we review which drugs might cause problems in patients also taking
treatment for asthma.
Asthma is a chronic disease that has, for a long time, been the domain of primary care nurses, and many have qualifications enabling them to run nurse-led asthma clinics. It is, therefore, essential to fully understand the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) and to be able to maximise the points available to the practice, at the same time as providing a comprehensive service to patients. In this article, we review the QOF indicators for asthma, strategies for optimising record keeping and performing asthma reviews.
More than half of people with asthma in the UK have inadequate symptom control,
despite the range of effective therapies now available. Rather than blaming
patients when they fail to take their medications as prescribed, we need to
examine the way we conduct asthma consultations and ask whether we are failing
to meet the needs of individual patients. How can we gain greater understanding about what
people with asthma want from healthcare professionals and treatments, so we can achieve a
more patient-centred approach to care?
On 23 June 2005, the Met Office issued a warning that severe thunderstorms were likely
to hit the South East of England in the next 24 hours. On the evening of Friday 24 June,
primary care out-of-hours services and hospital accident and emergency departments
in Northwest London were inundated by patients attending with acute asthma. The
scale of these attendances – eight times more patients than usual in one hospital – meant that
departments had to call in additional staff and some ran out of emergency supplies of
bronchodilators, nebulisers and oral steroids for treating asthma. In this article, we will explain
the background and some of the theories related to this type of epidemic of acute asthma –
Beta agonists are the only class of drugs that is recommended for the management of
asthma at every level of current guidelines, including those from the British Thoracic
Society (BTS). This means that they are used across the spectrum of severity of
asthma, from mild intermittent disease (step one) to severe asthma symptoms (step
five). In this article, we take you through the key things that you – and your patients – need to
know about these drugs.
We continue our series on the changing role of the community pharmacist, with an article
from Alpana Mair in Edinburgh describing the work of a pharmacist in COPD and asthma
clinics based on her experience.
The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is now well into its third year and continues
to expand boundaries of quality domains within chronic disease management. In this
article we review some of the challenges in QOF indicators for asthma and COPD and
suggest some tips to make the requirements easier to achieve in daily clinical practice.
Breathlessness is a very common problem in the patients we see in general practice, and
there is a range of possible causes. In this article – the first in a series of three looking
at how to diagnose what’s wrong with a breathless patient – we explore how to
distinguish between two of the commonest respiratory causes of breathlessness,
asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.