The potential of asthma adherence management to enhance asthma guidelines

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Apr;106(4):283-91. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2011.01.016.


Objective: Expert Panel Report 3 Guidelines recommend that physicians use adherence management strategies; however, the evidence for these interventions is weak. Clinicians need effective proven adherence interventions, because approximately 50% of patients with asthma do not follow physician medication recommendations, resulting in unnecessary morbidity. This review examines components of an organized adherence management program that has been successful in uncontrolled trials promoting adherence and reducing morbidity and cost.

Data sources: Literature review was undertaken in the following areas of asthma management: guidelines, cost; morbidity; adherence, monitoring; and communication skills.

Study selections: Studies that examined outcomes from psychoeducational, behavioral, monitoring, and communication interventions.

Results: Studies using individual interventions by themselves were modestly effective in promoting adherence. Two uncontrolled studies of children with severe asthma, treated in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings, used 4 intervention strategies to achieve marked reduction in morbidity and cost. These strategies included: (1) objective adherence monitoring; (2) identification of the cause(s) of nonadherence; (3) delivery of specific strategies for each cause; and (4) use of motivational interviewing communication skills to enhance the delivery of the strategy.

Conclusion: Nonadherence continues to be a significant problem. Physicians need a proven organized approach to improve adherence and reduce morbidity and cost. Evaluation of effective methods in a controlled fashion is warranted to increase adherence management evidence for future asthma guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents