Background The prevalence of asthma is increasing in the developing world. Asthma, management guidelines have been instituted to provide recommendations for the optimal control of asthma. This study evaluated the current level of asthma control as reported by the patients which may be a reflection of adherence to guidelines.
Methods Asthma patients referred to a respiratory diseases clinic were recruited for the study. The asthma control test (ACT) was administered on the patients. Data was also obtained for medication use and disease monitoring. A total ACT score of less than 20 signified poor control.
Results Seventy out of 78 patients completed the survey (89.7%). The average age of patients was 46 ± 18 years. The average ACT score was 14.4 ± 4.8 (mean ± SD). 82.9% of patients had poor control. 57.1% of patients who perceived their asthma to be well or totally controlled were objectively assessed to be poorly controlled. More than half of the patients used short acting β2 agonist (SABA) alone and only 20% used inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for maintenance therapy. Thirty eight patients made unscheduled emergency room visits in the past 12 months and 68.8% could not use their inhaler devises well. Emergency room visits (OR 9.5) and poor inhaler technique (OR 18.9) was independent predictors of poor asthma control.
Conclusion The current level of asthma control among patients in Uyo is below guideline recommendations. Management of patients did not appear to follow guideline recommendations and patients tend to over-estimate their disease control.