Article Text


Cough measurement, mechanisms and treatment
P242 Patients Overestimate Their Degree of Asthma Control Despite the Presence of Symptoms: A UK Survey
  1. M Fletcher1,
  2. D Hiles2,
  3. E Luck1
  1. 1Education for Health, Warwick, UK
  2. 2Asthma UK, London, UK


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.

Abstract P242 Table 1

Frequency of reliever medication use and asthma symptoms

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.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.