Asthma is a common chronic condition. Despite published guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, the real medical practices for this condition vary among different care providers. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the current perceptions and practices of asthma among asthma specialists in Lebanon.
A cross sectional survey was conducted on asthma specialists in Lebanon in November 2004. The studied parameters included asthma diagnosis, follow-up, treatment, patient education, use of asthma guidelines, demographic characteristics of providers and their involvement in continuous medical education.
Out of 125 practicing pulmonolgists and allergists registered in Lebanon, 70 filled out the questionnaire (56%). These were 20 females (29%) and 50 males (71%). The average age was 42.6+8.5 years. There were 55 pulmonolgists (78.5%), 5 allergists (7.1%) and 10 with double specialty in pulmonary and allergy (14.3%). 81.4% of responders performed spirometry on newly diagnosed subjects with asthma, while 74.3% monitored peak flows. The frequency of use of different treatment modalities for asthma was 94.1% for inhaled steroids, 95.4% for long acting beta-agonists (LABA), 60.6% for Leukotriene antagonists, 32.8% for theophylline, 25.8% for oral anti-histamines and 5.2% for cromolyn sodium. The inhaler technique is often monitored by 65.2% and sometimes by 24.6%, while peak flow diary is often reviewed by 29.9% and sometimes by 34.3%. About 87.9% of the responders indicated that they follow asthma practice guidelines, 84.6% of them reported using the GINA guidelines. Around 92.6% of asthma specialists in Lebanon attended continuous medical education (CME) program on asthma in the past year.
This survey characterizes the pattern of asthma treatment by specialists in Lebanon. The overall performance of the responders meets the international guidelines.
This study provides data for improving the performance of asthma treatment in Lebanon.
Hani Lababidi, None.