1995 Review and Position Statement
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The first British guidelines on asthma management were published in 1990 after a joint initiative between the British Thoracic Society, the Royal College of Physicians of London, The King’s Fund Centre, and the National Asthma Campaign.1 ,2 It was intended that they should be regularly reviewed and they were updated in 1992 with guidelines on the management of asthma in children also included. The revised guidelines were published in 1993 as a supplement to Thorax 3 and the summary charts appeared simultaneously in the British Medical Journal.4 That revision included a number of areas of controversy and listed areas of uncertainty which required further research.
The Guidelines Coordinating Committee (see below for list of participants), representing the Standards of Care and Education Committees of the British Thoracic Society and the National Asthma Campaign, and in liaison with the Audit and Research Unit of the Royal College of Physicians of London, met in early 1995 to discuss whether a further revision of the Guidelines was necessary. In addition to the areas of controversy noted in 1993, the Coordinating Committee identified a number of areas where new work had been undertaken and where review might be necessary. These areas were circulated to all members of the 1992 Guidelines Committee (consisting of paediatricians, general practitioners, chest physicians, general physicians, Accident and Emergency physicians, and nurses) who were asked if they wished to take part in a review of the Guidelines and if they agreed with the list of topics for review. Those who no longer wished to take part were replaced by participants with similar professional backgrounds. Individuals were then identified to write background papers on the areas for review and these were circulated to all members for comment. Finally, all participants came together for two days at the …