Introduction and Objectives Many patients with asthma overestimate the extent to which their symptoms are controlled, which may suggest that the real-world burden of the disease is greater than reported. This abstract reports data from a UK-based survey assessing the variation between patients’ perceptions of asthma control and their symptoms.
Methods This was a cross-sectional online survey administered by YouGov plc (November 2011) to a panel of over 350,000 individuals. Panellists who had previously identified themselves as having asthma were invited by e-mail to participate in the survey. Responses were collated and analysed by YouGov and Insight Research Group. Overall, 1083 individuals completed the survey; 49% of respondents were aged over 55 years and 45% were male. Almost two-thirds (64%) of patients were using both reliever and preventer therapy and 17% were using reliever medication only.
Results Most respondents reported that their asthma control was ‘very good’ (37%) or ‘good’ (42%). However, 19% of respondents described having uncontrolled asthma (i.e. ‘symptoms not very well managed’) at least once a month and 10% reported lack of asthma control at least once a week. In the 2 years prior to the survey, 12% of individuals had visited an accident-and-emergency department due to their asthma (ranging from 1 to 5 visits). Moreover, 41% of individuals used reliever medication at least once a day, and almost two-thirds experienced frequent (at least ‘sometimes’) day-time symptoms and over one-third had frequent night-time symptoms (Table). The most common day-time symptoms were coughing (experienced by 65% of individuals at least ‘sometimes’), wheezing (62%) and breathlessness (58%). Despite this, 91% of respondents were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ (44% and 47%, respectively) with their level of asthma control, and 59% did not believe it was possible to improve control.
Conclusions Patients are generally satisfied with their level of asthma control despite evidence of poor symptom control, suggesting a disconnection between patient perception of asthma control and actual asthma control. This suggests a need for further education to help patients better recognize the symptoms of poor asthma control and how this can help them aspire to greater asthma control.