New Delhi: Around 15 million people in India are suffering from asthma but management of the disease continues to remain unsatisfactory, according to a study.
The study conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research found that practitioners believed informing a patient that he has asthma is not important. It also found there was huge underutilisation of inhalers, the mainstay of asthma therapy.
The research was conducted among 50 patients in a public tertiary care chest hospital. They were interviewed on quality of asthma management before visiting referral hospital, asthma knowledge and asthma quality of life.
It was found none of the patients were provided any educational material about the disease, 66 per cent were not told of any preventive measure to lessen the symptoms and 94 per cent were not given information regarding early signs of worsening of asthma care.
The study also found only 44 per cent of the patients were prescribed inhaled therapy and majority of them learnt the use of inhalers from the package insert, other patients or hospital staff rather than their doctor.
Majority of the asthma patients were not aware of their doctor`s qualification and most of them had consulted more than two doctors at primary and secondary healthcare before visiting the referral (tertiary) chest hospital.
High prevalence and poor control of asthma make its management a major public health issue worldwide, especially in developing countries. Optimum review of asthma management in the community is essential to improve asthma control, the study said.
Previous studies conducted in many states also concluded the same. Thus there is a need to implement suitable interventions to improve asthma management, the study said.