Factors influencing patient decisions about the use of asthma controller medication.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007 Apr;98(4):322-8. Bender BG, Long A, Parasuraman B, Tran ZV. Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.

BACKGROUND: Patient nonadherence with asthma controller medication is pervasive and impedes successful adoption of national treatment guidelines.

OBJECTIVE: To survey adult patients with asthma about the factors influencing their decisions about when to use their asthma controller medications.

METHODS: Two hundred adults with asthma were randomly selected from a national database and were surveyed by telephone about medication use, barriers to adherence, and treatment preferences.

RESULTS: Adherence to daily controller medication in the group was generally well below the prescribed level despite the fact that many had relatively severe asthma and inadequately controlled symptoms. Thirty percent of the respondents indicated that they had been instructed by their physician to use their controller medication intermittently as guided by their symptoms. Most respondents expressed a desire to be more in control of their treatment and for that treatment to be more immediately effective and long-lasting but did not perceive inadequate information to be a barrier to adherence.

CONCLUSION: These insights into patient perception and motivation suggest the importance of developing treatment plans that allow patients some degree of control over medication use.

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