Research Article

How to achieve better outcome in treatment of asthma in general practice.

BMJ 1993; 307 doi: (Published 13 November 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;307:1261
  1. D Keeley
  1. Health Centre, Thame.


    The symptoms of many asthmatic patients are poorly controlled, and there are several reasons why this may be so. Doctors fail to find out about symptoms that asthmatic patients are experiencing. Doctors wrongly assume that regular use of bronchodilators in small doses is satisfactory treatment for asthma and that taking high doses of bronchodilator in an asthma attack may be dangerous. Doctors think that inhaled steroids may be dangerous and are reluctant to use them in effective doses. Doctors do not check that patients can use their inhalers properly and do not make enough use of large volume spacers, the best available method for giving inhaled asthma treatment. Doctors undermine patients' confidence in advice on treatment by failing to ensure that consistent advice is given and often make the management of asthma more troublesome for the patient than the symptoms of asthma.