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Asthma, Diagnosis and Management of

Guideline Summary

Revision Date: July 2012
Tenth Edition

Scope and Target Population

This guideline addresses the diagnosis, emergent, inpatient and outpatient management of acute and chronic asthma in all patients over five years of age who present with asthma-like symptoms or have been diagnosed with asthma.

Aims

  1. Increase the rate of patients five years and older who have accurate assessment of asthma severity and control through the use of objective measures of lung function and symptoms.
  2. Increase the rate of patients five years and older who have written asthma action plans and timely and accurate assessment of asthma exacerbation.
  3. Increase the rate of patients five years and older who have appropriate treatment and management of asthma in inpatient care settings.
  4. Increase the rate of patients five years and older who have follow-up visits to ensure asthma control is maintained and appropriate therapy is administered following any visit for asthma or medication adjustment.

Clinical Highlights

  • Conduct interval evaluations of asthma including medical history and physical examination, assessment of asthma triggers and allergens, measurement of pulmonary function, and consideration of consultation and/or allergy testing.
  • Assess control using objective measures and a validated asthma control tool.
  • Match therapy with asthma control.
  • Provide asthma education to patients and parents of pediatric patients. Education should include basic facts about asthma, how medications work, inhaler technique, a written action plan including home peak flow rate monitoring or a symptom diary, environmental control measures, and emphasis on the need for regular follow-up visits.

Additional Background

This guideline closely follows the recommendations of the: National Asthma Education Program Expert Panel Report 2, Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. NIH Publication No. 97-4051. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service/National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.