Background: Based on the `European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis and Nasal polyps (EP3OS 2007)`, this study aimed to investigate general practitioners (GPs) and other specialists` understanding when managing patients with acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) in Asia.
Methodology: Among a total of 2662 questionnaires completed, 2524 (94.8%) were valid for analysis. There were 1308 GPs (51.8%), 989 otolaryngologists (39.2%) and 227 paediatricians (9%) from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
Results: ARS is affecting an estimated 6 - 10% of patients seen in a daily out-patient practice. The EP3OS criteria are well supported by Asian physicians (94.1%). Most physicians (62.7%) agreed that radiological investigation is not needed to diagnose ARS. However, even for mild ARS (common cold), medical treatments were still recommended by 87% of GPs, 83.9% of otolaryngologists, and 70% of paediatricians. The top three first-line treatments prescribed were antihistamines (39.2%), nasal decongestants (33.6%), and antibiotics (29.5%). Antibiotics usage increased as the first line treatment of moderate (45.9%) and severe (60.3%) ARS.
Conclusion: ARS is commonly managed by GPs, otolaryngologists, and paediatricians in Asia. However, understanding of the management of ARS needs further improvement to minimize unnecessary use of radiological investigations, overuse of antibiotics, and under use of nasal corticosteroids.