Severe asthma affects 5-20% of the asthma population but is discordantly responsible for the major burden of illness and impairment to quality of life. Patients with severe asthma continue to experience ongoing symptoms despite maximal therapy. A severe asthma service provides a systematic approach to the management of the disease and aids in confirming the correct diagnosis, managing comorbid conditions that may mimic or aggravate asthma, and provides the environment to optimize treatment and asthma self-management skills and education. A severe asthma service is also the ideal environment for trialling add-on therapies and hence can improve patient outcomes and clinical practice. Within such a service there are many opportunities for training and research. In this article we describe the purpose of a severe asthma clinic, the necessary components of a service including staffing and facilities and the processes for trialling additional therapies used in the management of severe asthma.
© 2011 The Authors. Respirology © 2011 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.