While there is no cure for Asthma at this time, GGHEF is committed to making each day the best it can be for children with asthma.
More helpful information for asthma patients:
Link to How to use Inhalers
Summary of the Current State of Asthma Management
Over the years, many professional and governmental organizations have spent extensive resources in the development of Asthma education programs. There appears to be common agreement that these programs have only been partially beneficial to reducing or controlling Asthma due to a variety of factors.
Among these are the patient’s and their immediate family caregiver’s ability to learn, and the patient’s and their immediate family caregiver’s self-discipline to follow their Asthma Management Plan on a continuous and long-term basis. Some studies have shown that approximately 50% of asthmatic adults and children on long-term therapy fail to take their medications at least part of the time.
Much of the emphasis of Asthma management has been on the effectiveness of the relationship between the patient’s physician and the adherence to the written Home Management Plan. One of the challenges noted has been the expectation that the patient systematically keeps a diary of how they feel and their use of their medications. Too much of this process depends upon the subjective judgment and family self-discipline within families who are increasingly becoming more fractured. When low-cost mechanical peak flow meters are utilized, subjective assessments are reduced and replaced by at least some degree of breathing performance quantification. However, metering devices are not widely available nor are they uniformly
So, the previous state of asthma management holds that wide-spread education programs will take hold, and patients and their family caregivers will understand the disease and consistently take the right actions
to control the symptoms. The data, however, shows that this, by itself, is not working.
Current State –
Studies also show the medications currently available for Asthma are effective, if they are used and if they are adjusted on an ongoing basis in response to the symptoms of the patient. Again, the current challenge is that Asthma is continuing to increase world-wide, especially in children, and this is placing an enormous strain on
the cost of healthcare. It is also negatively impacting the lifestyles and productivity of millions of people
around the world.
In recent years, there have been improvements in spirometry devices to more effectively diagnose asthma, but due to the cost and the sensitivity of the equipment, they are usually only available in physician’s
offices. That also means that patient use is normally relegated to their periodic office visits, often
once a quarter, if even that frequently. A more detailed breakdown of the causes of poor Asthma management can be found in the 2012 Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention report
compiled by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). Chapter 4, Figure 4.1-4 cites the following Factors Involved in Poor Adherence:
Difficulties with inhaler devices
Misunderstanding or lack of instruction
Awkward regimes (e.g., four times
Fears about side effects daily or multiple drugs
Dissatisfaction with health care professionals
Unexpressed/undiscussed fears or
Cost of medication
Dislike of medications
Poor supervision, training, or
Anger about condition or its
Underestimation of severity
Forgetfulness or complacency
Attitudes toward ill health
To summarize the Current State, the pharmaceutical industry has developed an impressive array of
medications that are effective for managing Asthma when used and used properly. The clinical and educational industries have filled the airways and the internet with hundreds of excellent training programs, but there still seems to be a gap. Much of this extremely well prepared educational material seems to simply not have the necessary impact required to change patients’ behavior toward their disease.
Something appears to still be missing.