Hong Kong Med J 2010;16:86–93 | Number 2, April 2010
Are Hong Kong doctors following the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines: a questionnaire "Survey on Asthma Management"?
Fanny WS Ko, Angus MW Chan, HS Chan, Albert YF Kong, Roland CC Leung, Thomas YW Mok, HH Tse, Christopher KW Lai
Hong Kong Thoracic Society, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To assess the standard of asthma management by doctors in Hong Kong.
DESIGN. Cross-sectional postal questionnaire survey.
SETTING. Hong Kong.
PARTICIPANTS. Practising doctors registered with the Medical Council of Hong Kong were sent a questionnaire between August and December 2007.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Respondents' responses to questions on demographic data, parameters routinely used to assess asthma control, the pattern of asthma medication prescribing, and seven different case scenarios assessing their ability to classify asthma control and management.
RESULTS. We received 410 completed questionnaires from general practitioners (55%), internists (22%), paediatricians (11%), and other specialists (12%). The majority (82%) explained the pathology of asthma to at least some of their patients and tried to identify aggravating factors of the asthma (91%). Fewer observed the inhalation technique of their patients (68%) and prescribed a written asthma management plan (33%). The main medications prescribed to adults and children with asthma were inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonists, and combinations of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta-2 agonist. In adults and children, long-acting beta-2 agonist alone (without inhaled corticosteroid) was being used to treat asthma by 45% and 36% of the doctors, respectively. Also, 94% of the respondents correctly classified the control status in four out of the seven case scenarios and 31% chose the correct medications when responding to seven of the 14 questions asked.
CONCLUSIONS. Asthma management practice of Hong Kong doctors falls short of the standards recommended by international guidelines. More effort in improving their knowledge is urgently warranted.
Key words: Administration, inhalation; Asthma; Disease management; Guideline adherence; Professional practice
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