Participation in scheduled asthma follow-up contacts and adherence to treatment during 12-year follow-up in patients with adult-onset asthma

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BACKGROUND: Poor treatment compliance is a common problem in the treatment of asthma. To our knowledge, no previous long-term follow-up studies exist on how scheduled asthma follow-up contacts occur in primary health care (PHC) versus secondary care and how these contacts relate to adherence to medication and in participation to further scheduled asthma contacts. The aim of this study was to evaluate occurrence of scheduled asthma contacts and treatment compliance in PHC versus secondary care, and to identify the factors associated with non-participation to scheduled contacts. METHODS: Patients with new adult-onset asthma (n = 203) were followed for 12 years in a real-life asthma cohort of the Seinäjoki Adult Asthma Study (SAAS). The first contacts were mainly carried out in secondary care and therefore the actual follow-up time including PHC visits was 10 years. RESULTS: A majority (71%) of the patients had ≥ 2 scheduled asthma contacts during 10-year follow-up and most of them (79%) mainly in PHC. Patients with follow-up contacts mainly in PHC had better adherence to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) medication during the whole 12-year period compared to patients in secondary care. In the study population, 29% of the patients had only 0-1 scheduled asthma contacts during the follow-up. Heavy alcohol consumption predicted poor participation in scheduled contacts. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with mainly PHC scheduled asthma contacts were more adherent to ICS medication than patients in the secondary care. Based on our results it is necessary to pay more attention to actualization of asthma follow-up visits and systematic assessment of asthma patients including evaluation of alcohol consumption. Trial registration Seinäjoki Adult Asthma Study is retrospectively registered at with identifier number NCT02733016. Registered 11 April 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Number of pages12
JournalBmc Pulmonary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adherence
  • Alcohol
  • Asthma
  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Primary care
  • Scheduled follow-up
  • Secondary care

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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