Written asthma action plans (WAAPs) are recommended by national and international guidelines to help patients recognize and manage asthma exacerbations. Despite this recommendation, many patients with asthma do not have a WAAP. In addition, WAAPs vary widely in their readability and usability. To promote issuance and patient use, the WAAP should clearly define the decision (action) points, expected response, and expected time of response. The WAAP should also be easily integrated into a physician's busy practice. Herein, we describe the key elements of an effective WAAP, including concise, detailed recommendations regarding asthma exacerbation recognition (patient selfmonitoring) and treatment.
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