Adherence to treatment guidelines and good asthma control in Finland

Johanna Pakkasela, Petri Salmela, Pekka Juntunen, Jussi Karjalainen, Lauri Lehtimäki

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Abstract

Background: Asthma program in Finland decreased asthma-related mortality and expenses of care on national level, but there is lack of data on adherence to treatment guidelines and disease control on individual level. We aimed to assess adherence to guidelines and disease control among Finnish adult asthmatics. Methods: Questionnaires were sent in Finland to 2000 randomly selected recipients aged 18–80 years, who had bought medication for obstructive airways disease during the previous 12 months. The questionnaire included questions on asthma medication, exacerbations, self-management and follow-up. Asthma symptom control was assessed by the Asthma Control Test (ACT). Results: A high proportion (82.4%) of the 541 responders with physician-diagnosed asthma reported regular use of asthma medication and 97.1% of them used inhaled corticosteroids. Almost all (97.0%) of the asthmatics were taught how to use their inhaler and 78.4% had an asthma self-management plan, but only 35.7% reported regular annual follow-up visits. According to symptoms, 60.0% had their asthma well-controlled (ACT score ≥20). On the other hand, 29.2% had a course of oral corticosteroid and 21.8% had an asthma-related unscheduled health care visit during the previous year, but only 2.6% reported a hospitalization. Asthma control was better in those not using regular asthma medication. Conclusions: The guidelines are well adopted in Finnish adult asthma care except for regular follow-up visits. Majority of patients had good symptom control and hospitalizations were rare. Better asthma control among those not using regular asthma medication implies they are not undertreated but have a mild disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2149918
JournalEuropean Clinical Respiratory Journal
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date26 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • adult
  • Asthma
  • control
  • exacerbation
  • follow-up
  • guideline
  • management
  • medication
  • symptom

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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