Previous studies using cross-sectional designs suggest that asthma trigger recognition and management are suboptimal in clinical practice. The objective of this study was to assess gaps between asthma guideline recommendations and clinical practice regarding asthma trigger recognition and management by tracking poorly controlled asthma patients over a 2-year period. A retrospective cohort study of a representative sample of 102 children and adult residents of Olmsted County, MN, with poor asthma control in 2003-2004 was performed. All medical records from each asthma-related visit were examined for documented asthma trigger inquiries, specific trigger avoidance advice, and for adherence to the trigger avoidance advice. One hundred two subjects made 686 asthma-related visits that were included for analysis. At least 1 trigger inquiry occurred in 83% of visits, with an average of 2.0 triggers queried per visit. The most common trigger inquiries were for infection (47%), environmental tobacco smoke (41%), and allergens (29%). The mean number of triggers queried was higher during exacerbation visits versus nonexacerbation visits (2.1 versus 1.8; p < 0.001) and in the emergency care settings compared with outpatient settings (2.4 versus 1.7; p < 0.001). Advice for managing asthma triggers was given in 30% of visits and adherence to trigger advice was evaluated at 6% of visits. Future interventions for improving asthma trigger management should be targeted to routine asthma outpatient visits, where trigger avoidance advice is infrequent and rarely addressed in follow-up visits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine