Together, we can do more to improve asthma care
In 2019, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) introduced the most fundamental change in asthma care in 30 years. For safety, GINA no longer recommends short-acting β2-agonist (SABA)-only treatment for adult and adolescent patients with asthma. Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)-containing treatment is now the preferred medication across all asthma severities .
Many patients with asthma overestimate their asthma control and under-use their ICS medications in day-to-day life [2,3]. This highlights the importance of effectively communicating the rationale behind the change in GINA recommendations, to ensure patient confidence and adherence when initiating a new treatment plan.
Listen to Dr Peter Lin, Director of Primary Care Initiatives at the Canadian Heart Research Centre, talk about how to explain the benefits of the new GINA strategy to patients.
GINA recommends that a patient’s asthma management should be reviewed every 1-3 months when initiating a treatment, and every 3-12 months thereafter . There are several tools available to facilitate your discussions with patients in regard to their asthma management and potential SABA over-use, such as:
Asthma action plan
Recommended to support asthma management. It helps the patient understand how to recognise worsening asthma symptoms and increase their medication accordingly, and when to seek medical help.
Asthma slide rule
A tool to assess your patients’ asthma management, including: their SABA use per year; your confidence, and your patients’ confidence, in having a conversation about reducing the dose of SABA; and how important an asthma review is for your patients.
Reliever reliance test
A short test designed to assess what your patients think of their SABA inhaler, and if they may be relying on it too much.
Visit the ‘Rate your reliance’ website to find out more about assessing your patients’ reliance on their SABA inhaler.
Asthma care is changing.
Look out for the Asthma Revolution in your country, and join the conversation with other healthcare professionals.
 Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). Pocket Guide for Asthma Management and Prevention (for adults and children older than 5 years). 2020. Available from: www.ginasthma.org.