Intended for healthcare professionals


Self management in asthma care

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 16 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1482

Professionals must rethink their role if they are to guide patients successfully

  1. Bart Thoonen, general practitioner (,
  2. Chris van Weel, professor of general practice (
  1. Department of General Practice, UMC St Radboud, University of Nijmegen, 229-HSV, P O Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, Netherlands

    Papers p 1507

    Equipping people with asthma with the tools they need to manage their condition is as important as writing the correct prescription,” according to the United Kingdom's National Asthma campaign. Guided self management has an established place in asthma guidelines and recommendations.1-2 Yet the reality of everyday asthma care is quite different from that which the guidelines suggest, as shown by Jones et al in this issue (p 1507).3 Even among general practitioners in an academic setting, asthma remains underdiagnosed and poorly treated,4 despite increased awareness of the condition. Professionals perceive asthma as a lifelong problem, but patients discontinue treatment after a few years or do not consult health professionals at all.5

    General practitioners and nurses have an important role in implementing self care programmes. However, Jones et al report that patient self management …

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