Survey of the clinical practice of physicians in the management of asthma in Taiwan

Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2006 Mar;24(1):1-8.


Asthma is a common problem with a prevalence rate increasing every year. However, not all asthmatic patients receive appropriate treatment, partly due to the disease entity or patients' compliance, and partly due to physicians' knowledge and disposition in terms of treatment. This study was designed to investigate the current status of asthma treatment among clinicians in different practice settings, particularly regarding the acceptance of and adherence to asthma treatment guidelines and asthma patient education. Questionnaires were distributed by randomized sampling to doctors throughout the entire country. The questionnaire had six parts, measuring the following: 1) the use of different kinds of medication in the treatment of asthma; 2) adherence to asthma treatment guidelines; 3) the use of inhaled corticosteroids as part of management; 4) the use of peak flow meters in monitoring asthma; 5) relative efficiency in treating asthma; and 6) the use of a referral system, from general practitioners to specialists. There were 531 respondents out of 1,000 questionnaires distributed. The results revealed the following: 1) 20.2% of physicians use oral corticosteroids for maintenance therapy; 2) 31.8% of physicians do not follow asthma treatment guidelines; 3) 77.2% of physicians use inhaled corticosteroids for maintenance therapy (physicians in medical centers and regional hospitals use inhaled corticosteroids more frequently than private practitioners); 4) 51% of doctors do not use peak flow meters to monitor asthma symptoms because of prohibitive costs; 5) approximately 80% of clinicians have confidence in dealing with asthma problems; and 6) 29.2% of general practitioners do not refer patients to asthma specialists unless there is poor control or a need for further evaluation. Adherence to asthma treatment guidelines is poor, and such guidelines need to be popularized or simplified. There are still many discrepancies among doctors at different levels of hospitals. Re-education and review of asthma knowledge is necessary to keep clinical practitioners at the forefront of standard practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Professional Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones