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Asthma action plan

Supporting and managing asthma.
Asthma Action Plan
© Student writing in organizer while sitting on picnic rug by Karolina Grabowska licensed CC0
There is good evidence that people with asthma can be supported to manage their condition if they have a clear action plan and access to regular reviews with a healthcare professional.

Research suggests supported self-management improves asthma control and quality of life. Provision of action plans also reduce acute attacks, attendance at emergency departments and hospitalisations.

In low resource settings, self-management programmes can be introduced to meet the specific demographic and cultural needs of the local population. For example: specific ethnic communities or in schools. If literacy levels are low, for example, then a picture version of an asthma action plan could be developed.

‘Personalised’ means the plan is tailored to reflect the severity of asthma, identified treatments, identification/avoidance of triggers, the possibility of co-morbidities such as rhinitis and personal preferences.

A personalised asthma action plan is a crucial part of self-management and advises on:

  • Medication review

  • Regular medication

  • Recognising deterioration and knowing what to do

  • Monitoring symptoms, and/or recording peak flow and identifying the threshold for action which might include:

  • Increasing inhaled steroids

  • Oral steroids

  • When and how to seek the support of a healthcare worker

Supported self-management needs the commitment of the whole system of health care including patient education, professional motivation, knowledge and skills and to be built into organisational operations and routines.

Spend some time reviewing the following examples of asthma action plans for adults and children:

For adults, try using the action plan on page 11 of the GINA patient guide, or the step-by-step guide Your asthma action plan that helps patients stay on top of their symptoms.

For children, there is My Asthma Plan.

To find out more about the asthma action plan, go to the Asthma UK website.

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Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD) in Primary Care Settings

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