To obtain current 2005 information to determine the unmet needs of Canadians with asthma.
Telephone survey of patients with physician diagnosed asthma was performed during March 2005 in Canada. The authors developed a study questionnaire and ethics approval was obtained. The telephone interview was performed by a prominent Canadian Market Research Firm. The sample was weighted to obtain a representative sample of adult patients with asthma in Canada with respect to age, gender and geographical location (10 Provinces and 1 Canadian Territory).
997 patients with physician diagnosed asthma responded to the complete survey. Age ranges 18% (18-34 years old), 52% (35-54 years old), and 39% (55+ years old). 60% of the respondents were female. 10% of patients had been treated in the emergency room in the last year and 12% missed work or school; 97% of patients said that asthma effected their work or school performance over the previous year. 28% were experiencing daily daytime symptoms and 67% reported daytime symptoms at least weekly. 6% experienced nocturnal wakening from their asthma on a daily basis with 29% wakening at least once a week with asthma.Only 50% of the sample had objective tests of pulmonary function performed (peak flow/spirometry). 70% of patients stated that they had not had their inhaler technique checked. Only 15% had been referred for asthma education. Significant misconceptions of medications were identified including 39% of patients using short acting bronchodilators as their most often used “controller” medications and a further 11% were unsure as to which of their medications were “controller” medications.
This March 2005, nationwide Canadian survey identifies significant asthma care gaps, patient and physician misconceptions around knowledge transfer of asthma guidelines to patient care. These have not reduced from previous surveys.
Guideline groups should integrate methods of dissemination and implementation strategies to change practice, reduce care gaps and improve asthma outcomes.Funding via unrestricted grant from Novartis through the Asthma Society of Canada. Telephone survey conducted by Pollara Inc., Toronto, Canada.
Andrew Mc Ivor, None.