Are Italian Pulmonologists aware of the Guidelines for asthma management and do they know how to apply them?
AbstractBackground. Since 1995 GINA (Global Initiative on Asthma) guidelines for asthma management have been updated annually and published in order to promote better management of asthma in real life situations. The aim of our study was to assess the level of implementation of GINA Guidelines among Italian Pulmonary Specialists (PSs). Methods. A detailed questionnaire was sent to 296 Respiratory Units (RUs) in Italy in order to collect information about personnel involved in the management of asthma patients, availability and use of diagnostic tools, recommended treatment according to the degree of asthma severity, educational activity. Data were analysed by using the SPSS programme. Results. 74 (25%) questionnaires were returned and analysed. Most RUs (70%) do not have a dedicated asthma clinic; however, spirometry is available in more than 90% of RUs, although it is performed in no more than 50% of patients in most RUs. Asthma treatment concurs with GINA recommendations in most RUs. Educational activity is performed by almost all RUs, usually in informal manner, during clinical visits, whereas only few RUs arrange individual educational sessions or â€œasthma schoolâ€. Conclusions. GINA guidelines for asthma management are applied by most Italian RUs included in this study in regard to educational activity and, to a lesser extent, to treatment. Surprisingly, many RUs perform spirometry in a relatively small number of patients despite its availability.
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