Asthma management among different specialists: results from a national Italian survey

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Mar;46(2):74-82.


In Europe more than 50% of asthmatic treated patients have a not well-controlled asthma. The present survey aims at investigating how different specialists approach asthmatic patients. A web anonymous questionnaire was randomly administered to 604 General Practitioners (GPs), 241 Pneumologists and 131 Allergists. It concerned: epidemiology, diagnostic workup, follow-up and risk factors, treatment and future risk. A general agreement emerges about asthma diagnostic work-up. All categories are aware of the impact of comorbidities on asthma. LABA/inhaled steroids combination is considered the first choice treatment. Surprisingly, depot steroids and long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA) alone are still prescribed by GPs. Concerning monitoring tools, Allergists rely on inflammation biomarkers, whereas reduction of rescue medication is more relevant for GPs. Asthma Control Test (ACT) is considered time consuming by more than 50% of all physicians and is not known by most of GPs. Adherence is considered a crucial problem in asthma management. All categories seem to have a good knowledge about asthma. The cultural background may account for mild differences in asthma control tools and treatment options. GPs have a pivotal role in discriminating patients who need specific assessment by specialists. It is thus important that GPs and specialists share common tools for recognizing and managing those patients.

Keywords: Asthma; diagnosis; follow-up and monitoring tools; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • General Practitioners
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Medicine
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires