This exploratory paper explores current practice and new approaches to asthma healthcare in Australia, in order to stimulate new thinking and action to target care gaps and redress stalled progress against asthma outcomes.
This is an in-depth paper that reflects the views and opinions of the contributors, a diverse group of stakeholders with demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the asthma field. The findings are presented under the headings of the five high-level objectives in the National Asthma Strategy 2018.
Contributors were frustrated by the suboptimal uptake of self-management practices by patients, and their own lack of skills to affect change. Five key factors that influence self-management practices were identified and discussed: the psychology of asthma; the skills and engagement of health professionals; the broader social and environmental context; the language of asthma and health literacy; and healthcare systems and processes. Contributors agreed that asthma increasingly needs to be managed from the perspective of the patients’ personal disease experience and their social and environmental context. A more holistic, personalised approach that considers the psychology of asthma was deemed critical.
Written Asthma Action Plans and patient education were discussed as key approaches for supporting effective self-management practices. Contributors supported a rethink of the current asthma action plan strategy.