‘Patients don’t need to fear asthma’: Major update to asthma handbook

Amanda Lyons

8/03/2019 2:19:49 PM

The National Asthma Council has launched a comprehensive update to its guidelines for diagnosis and management of the disease in primary care.

Dr Zena Burgess believes that with the proper management in primary care, supported by the Australian Asthma Handbook, ‘patients don’t need to fear asthma’.
Dr Zena Burgess believes that with the proper management in primary care, supported by the Australian Asthma Handbook, ‘patients don’t need to fear asthma’.

Australia has a high rate of asthma compared to other countries around the world, with one in nine Australians, 2.7 million people, experiencing the disease.
And much of it is diagnosed and managed in general practice, which Dr Kerry Hancock, Chair of the RACGP Specific Interests Respiratory Medicine network, believes is exactly the right place.
‘General practice is where it belongs,’ she told newsGP. ‘It’s only really people with severe or difficult to control asthma who are referred to specialist centres for management.’
The National Asthma Council’s National guidelines for asthma management (the guidelines) is a key resource that assists GPs to treat and manage asthma in consultations.
A launch was held at the RACGP’s national office to mark the guideline’s first major overhaul since it went online in 2014.
Professor Amanda Barnard, a GP with an interest in respiratory disease and RACGP representative on the National Asthma Council Board, discussed the importance of the guidelines to general practice.
‘These guidelines are absolutely unique in the world, in that they are focused on primary care,’ she said at the launch.
‘They are meant to be a practical guide for primary carers out there in the field, so that families, when they come in to visit their GP … know that they have the best evidence at hand that’s been sifted through groups of clinicians and made into something that’s really useable.’
Dr Barnard outlined each of the guidelines’ most important updates and changes, which she divided into five main areas:

  • Revision of the guidance of the management of asthma in children
  • Removing the recommendations about asthma in children under 12 months
  • Changes in management of acute asthma
  • Updates to the section on severe asthma
  • Investigating the evidence for primary prevention of asthma
Finally, all of the information has been placed into a format that is designed to be easy to access and understand.
‘Have a scroll of it, get on the website and see how really user-friendly it is,’ Dr Barnard said.
RACGP CEO Dr Zena Burgess also spoke at the launch, describing her own experience of having children with asthma as well the RACGP’s support for the guidelines.
‘Patients don’t need to fear asthma,’ she said. ‘Through positive promotion of the guidelines, the RACGP supports GPs to realise their full scope of practice, and to deliver consistent, best-practice asthma-based care, based on up-to-date and evidence-based treatment.’
Dr Hancock, who was involved in helping to produce the guidelines, urges GPs to explore and become familiar with the updated information.
‘We’ve got an online, easily accessible evidence-based resource that has lots of practical suggestions that GPs can access readily and easily, especially when they’ve got the patients there with them,’ she said.
‘And it can really assist them with making those decisions about care of their patients with asthma.’
The updated guidelines, as well as an explanation and highlights of the latest updates, are available on the National Asthma Council Australia’s website.

asthma asthma guidelines Australian Asthma Handbook National Asthma Council Australia National guidelines for asthma management

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Kanwaldeep Aulakh   12/03/2019 3:44:55 PM

Thanks very much for update and I am sure this going to help GPs and simplify the management protocol for Asthma in different situations.