Management of asthma in Australian general practice: Care is still not in line with clinical practice guidelines

Christopher Barton, Judith Proudfoot, Cheryl Amoroso, Emmae Ramsay, Christine Holton, Tanya Bubner, Mark Harris, Justin Beilby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective and Background: We investigated the quality of primary care asthma management in a sample of Australian general practices. Methods: 247 general practitioners (GPs) from 97 practices completed a structured interview about management of asthma, diabetes and hypertension/heart disease. A further structured interview with the senior practice principal and practice manager was used to collect information about practice capacity for chronic disease management. Results: Just under half of GPs (47%) had access to an asthma register and the majority (76%) had access to spirometry in their practice. In terms of routine management of asthma, 12% of GPs reported using spirometry routinely, 13% routinely reviewed written asthma action plans, 27% routinely provided education about trigger factors, 30% routinely reviewed inhaler technique, 24% routinely assessed asthma severity, and 29% routinely assessed physical activity. Practice characteristics such as practice size (p=1.0) and locality (rural/metropolitan) (p=0.7) did not predict quality of asthma management nor did indicators of practice capacity including Business maturity, IT/IM maturity, Multidisciplinary teamwork, and Clinical linkages. Conclusion: Gaps remain in the provision of evidence-based care for patients with asthma in general practice. Markers of practice capacity measured here were not associated with guideline-based respiratory care within practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalPrimary Care Respiratory Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Clinical practice
  • Physicians
  • Practice guidelines
  • Primary health care
  • Quality assessment


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