PURPOSE: Characterize the current knowledge, beliefs, and practices of asthma among general practitioners in Lebanon.
METHODS: A cross sectional survey was conducted on general practitioners in Lebanon. This survey included parameters on asthma diagnosis, follow-up, treatment, patient education, use of asthma guidelines, demographic characteristics on providers and involvement in continuous medical education.
RESULTS: Out of 2450 practicing general practitioners registered in Lebanon, 302 (12.3%) were randomly selected and filled out the questionnaire. These were 57 females (18.9%) and 245 males (81.1%). The average age was 40.04 ±6.68years. Around 42% of general practitioners see 5-10 asthmatic patients weekly in their clinics .Spirometry was used by 47% of participants on newly diagnosed patients with asthma, while 20.86% used peak flow monitoring. On the evaluation and monitoring of asthma patients, most of general practitioners ask about cough and wheezing (98.7%), 13.9% of them monitor spirometry during follow-up visits. The rate of different medications reported to be “often” used for moderate asthma were: 87.4% for inhaled steroids, 27.6% for long acting beta-agonists (LABA), 11.9% for Leukotriene antagonist, 20.9% for theophylline, and 2.6% for oral anti-histamines. About 32% of the participants indicated that they use asthma practice guidelines, 58.3% of them have been using the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines, and 36.5% of them have been using the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines. Around 72.2% of general practitioners in Lebanon attended continued medical education (CME) program on asthma in the past year.
CONCLUSION: The overall performance of Lebanese general practitioners is acceptable. There are still improvements that need to be done, mainly in patient education and higher use of spirometry and peak flow monitoring.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study provides data for improving the performance of asthma management in Lebanon.
DISCLOSURE: Hani Lababidi, None.