ABSTRACT: Suboptimal management of asthma by general practitioners (GPs) can lead to poor health outcomes
To assess the management of common asthma presentations by GPs using the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines as a comparative tool.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Karachi, Pakistan. Of 250 GPs approached, 192 completed a self-administered questionnaire regarding pathology, key history points, risk factors, diagnosis, and management of asthma.
Overall, 28.6% of GPs had adequate knowledge of the core concepts of asthma, while only 10.4% had adequate practice in asthma management. About 78% of GPs had inadequate knowledge of pathology, about 90% had inadequate knowledge of medications to be used, and 63% had inadequate knowledge regarding diet restrictions. Knowledge regarding symptoms not usually associated with asthma was adequate, as was knowledge regarding non-pharmacological management (79% each). Practices regarding asthma diagnosis were good (99.0%). However, practices regarding acute exacerbations and patients who wish to exercise were inadequate in 85.9% and 82.8% of GPs, respectively.
The majority of GPs had poor knowledge and practice of asthma. We recommend initiation of programmes to improve their knowledge and practices.
Primary care respiratory journal: journal of the General Practice Airways Group 11/2011; 20(4):448-51.