Joannie Shen; Michael Johnston; Ron D Hays


Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2011;11(4):447-453. 

In This Article

Asthma Self-management

Leading asthma treatment guidelines emphasize that asthma self-management education should be integrated into all aspects of asthma care and reinforced over time.[1,66,102] Asthma self-management refers to the problem-solving behaviors that patients use to manage asthma over time and involves several tasks in multiple areas. Patients must learn to implement behaviors that enable them to understand their illness and take action to avoid known triggers, monitor their symptoms over time, detect declining physiological function, communicate accurately with healthcare providers, access appropriate treatments and take medications properly. The goal of self-management is to optimize physiological status, improve symptoms and improve functioning and wellbeing. Asthma self-management practices, including therapeutic adherence and use of an asthma action plan, are associated with asthma outcomes.

Appropriate consideration of patients' asthma self-management practices can further characterize patient risk and factors that mediate treatment effectiveness. A Cochrane review indicates that self-adjustment with the aid of a written action plan is equally as beneficial as regular review by a physician.[67] Several measurement tools have been developed for patient asthma self-management. Notably, the Asthma Self-Management Questionnaire, includes items that focus specifically on self-management activities.[68] These activities include knowledge of proper use of preventive strategies, proper use of inhalers, understanding the differences between rescue and maintenance medications and use of peak flow meters. Therapeutic adherence is discussed in more detail in the next section.


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