How to set up a severe asthma service

Respirology. 2011 Aug;16(6):900-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.02012.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Itraconazole / therapeutic use
  • Leukotriene Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Macrolides / therapeutic use
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Omalizumab
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Workforce


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Leukotriene Antagonists
  • Macrolides
  • Omalizumab
  • Itraconazole