Asthma referrals: A key component of asthma management that needs to be addressed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Heterogeneity of asthma and difficulty in achieving optimal control are the major challenges in the management of asthma. To help attain the best possible clinical outcomes in patients with asthma, several guidelines provide recommendations for patients who will require a referral to a specialist. Such referrals can help in clearing the uncertainty from the initial diagnosis, provide tailored treatment options to patients with persistent symptoms and offer the patients access to health care providers with expertise in the management of the asthma; thus, specialist referrals have a substantial impact on disease prognosis and the patient’s health status. Hurdles in implementing these recommendations include lack of their dissemination among health care providers and nonadherence to these guidelines; these hurdles considerably limit the implementation of specialist referrals, eventually affecting the rate of referrals. In this review, recommendations for specialist referrals from several key international and national asthma guidelines and other relevant published literature are evaluated. Furthermore, we highlight why referrals are not happening, how this can be improved, and ultimately, what should be done in the specialist setting, based on existing evidence in published literature.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Aberdeen
  • Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute Pte Ltd
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy

Keywords

  • Asthma, Disease management, Primary care physicians, Referral, Specialization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Asthma and Allergy
Volume10
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes