Introduction and Objectives Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in the world, with 5.4 million individuals diagnosed in the UK alone. Here, we report data from a UK-based survey, conducted to assess how patients perceive the relationship with their general practitioner (GP) or nurse with regards to their asthma management.
Methods This was a cross-sectional online survey administered by YouGov plc (November 2011) to a panel of over 350,000 individuals. An e-mail was sent to panellists who had previously identified themselves as having asthma, inviting them to take part in the survey. Responses were collated and analysed by YouGov and Insight Research Group. The survey was completed by 1083 individuals; 49% were aged over 55 years and 45% were male.
Results Overall, 91% of respondents reported that their asthma consultations occurred in GP practises; 69% had visited a practize nurse and 60% a GP. A total of 76% of respondents described the relationship with their healthcare professional (HCP) about their asthma management as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. However, over one-third of respondents had either never been invited to (18%), or had not always attended (17%), asthma reviews. Moreover, 56% of respondents were unaware of Personal Asthma Action Plans and only 12% were currently using one, although 90% of those doing so found it ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ useful. The majority of individuals placed the responsibility for asthma control on themselves and not their HCP (Table), even among those with average or poor symptom control. Many respondents believed that lack of asthma control was inevitable, with 81% accepting that they would experience symptoms and 86% acknowledging that asthma would have an impact on their life.
Conclusions Patients have low expectations of the level of asthma control that can be achieved. Despite a good relationship with their HCP, many individuals do not attend regular asthma reviews, and awareness and use of Personal Asthma Action Plans is low. There is a clear need for continued education and initiatives to increase awareness among both HCPs and patients about asthma management plans and supported self-management.