Formulating an effective and efficient written asthma action plan

Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Nov;83(11):1263-70. doi: 10.4065/83.11.1263.


Written asthma action plans (WAAPs) are recommended by national and international guidelines to help patients recognize and manage asthma exacerbations. Despite this recommendation, many patients with asthma do not have a WAAP. In addition, WAAPs vary widely in their readability and usability. To promote issuance and patient use, the WAAP should clearly define the decision (action) points, expected response, and expected time of response. The WAAP should also be easily integrated into a physician's busy practice. Herein, we describe the key elements of an effective WAAP, including concise, detailed recommendations regarding asthma exacerbation recognition (patient self-monitoring) and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Decision Making
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Patient Care Planning*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Primary Health Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Administration
  • Self Care*
  • Self-Examination
  • Time Factors
  • Writing


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Bronchodilator Agents