Asthma control: do patients' and physicians' opinions fit in with patients' asthma control status?

J Asthma. 2007 Jul;44(6):461-7.
Prieto L, Badiola C, Villa JR, Plaza V, Molina J, Cimas E.
Allergology, Hospital Dr. Peset, Valencia.

The aim of this study was to determine the level of asthma control and the concordance between physicians' and patients' opinions and the real patients' situation.

A total of 777 subjects (55% female) with asthma were recruited. The study comprised a 4-week follow-up period, during which subjects completed a diary recording peak expiratory flow (PEF), symptoms, and use of rescue medication. At the end, both physicians and patients rated asthma control status. The level of control was evaluated using a composite measure. Agreement among subjective assessments of asthma control by patients and physicians and objective evaluation with the composite measure was assessed through kappa scores.

A total of 518 (67%) patients had "not well-controlled asthma," being the remaining "totally controlled" (8%) or "well-controlled" (25%). "Not well-controlled asthma" was more frequent in smokers (82%) than in ex-smokers (70%) or in non-smokers (62%; p = 0.0002). Kappa scores between patients' and physicians' opinions and the real patients' status were 0.02 (95% CI, 0.01-0.05) and 0.07 (95% CI, 0.03-0.09), respectively.

In conclusion, current level of asthma control is suboptimal for a majority (67%) of patients in Spain. Besides, asthma control is worse in smokers. Neither patients' nor physicians' opinions agree with patients' real situation. Both patients and physicians accept as normal a suboptimal status of their disease.

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