CAMBRIDGE, England, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Data released on World Asthma Day suggest a more personalised approach to asthma management may be required to control this chronic disease
- 2 in 5 people with asthma say they have had time off work at least once in the last year because of their asthma
- 7 in 10 people with asthma have experienced other health problems, related to asthma, in the last year
- People with asthma tend to have one of two mindsets: 'confident' or 'seeking' - each group may benefit from a personalised disease management approach
Today, results from a large pan-European asthma survey show that people with asthma are still experiencing largely preventable symptoms that disrupt their daily lives. The survey highlights that many people with asthma simply put up with symptoms, often because they believe they have control over their asthma and do not realise it can be better managed. The findings suggest that understanding patient attitudes to asthma may be key to improving asthma management.
The REALISE survey, conducted by Mundipharma International in partnership with asthma experts, questioned 8,000 people with asthma aged 18-50 across 11 countries about their experiences of asthma, and attitudes and behaviours towards the disease. The aim was to explore the underlying reasons for the sub-optimal management of asthma across Europe,, and identify how disease management can be improved.
According to REALISE, 2 in 5 people with asthma get short of breath when hurrying on level ground or walking up a slight hill, and 1 in 5 say asthma affects their sex life. Less than half of those prescribed a preventative inhaler use it regularly as advised by their doctor. The survey sheds new light on why many patients experience symptoms but may not follow the best course of action to better control their condition. Notably, some people with asthma find their inhaler a nuisance, difficult, or embarrassing to use, and others are not motivated to seek support and information from their doctor. The results suggest that understanding how people with asthma think about their disease and its impact on their lives may help the asthma community discover more effective ways of managing the condition.
"People with asthma seem to believe that they have no choice but to put up with disruptive asthma symptoms, most of which could be avoided. We need to help these people take control and manage their asthma better. The REALISE study sheds light on patient attitudes towards asthma and offers us valuable insights to help tailor asthma care and achieve better outcomes for people living with the condition," said Professor David Price, Primary Care Respiratory Society UK, Professor of Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, University of Aberdeen. "We must look beyond treating the symptoms alone and take the patient mindset into account if we really want to improve asthma management."
The REALISE findings show that people with asthma tend to fall into one of two groups. Both report a level of sub-optimal disease management, but their experiences of asthma and attitudes towards the condition vary. The first group can be classified as 'confident'. These people believe they are fit and healthy and are unconcerned by asthma. 32% have clinical control of their disease. Only 14% of this group describe their symptoms as 'serious' and they do not believe they need help from a doctor. Nevertheless, 25% have experienced asthma symptoms on three or more days during the last week.
The second group of people with asthma can be classified as 'seeking'. These people acknowledge their health is worse than other people their age and actively look for information about asthma. They think about their asthma more than once a week, worry about the effect that the disease will have on their future health and want to improve their asthma management. Here, 45% describe their symptoms as 'serious', and 56% feel that their asthma stops them living life to the full (vs. 11% in the 'confident' group). Only 6% of this group have clinical control of their asthma. 78% feel frustrated by not being able to manage their asthma better and many believe sharing their experiences of asthma online could make a difference to how they manage their disease.[*]
The identification of these two groups of patients with differing attitudes to asthma suggests that the way in which a person perceives their condition may play a role in how they manage it. This in turn may influence the support and treatment they need. Mundipharma is working with asthma experts to understand more about the influence of attitudes on asthma management and intends to support the development of resources that meet the varying educational and behavioural needs in asthma.
"Mundipharma's support for REALISE shows our commitment to, and investment in, research which will inform the development of better treatment strategies in asthma and ultimately lead to reducing the individual and societal burden of this debilitating condition," said Professor Dr. Karen Reimer, Managing Director of Mundipharma Research. "Combined with the right treatments for the right patients, this could make a real difference."
* Detailed results of the survey and analysis of the different characteristics of asthma patient types will be presented at the upcoming International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) World Conference on 23 - 24 May in Uppsala, Sweden.
Date of preparation: April 2013
-Notes to editors-
About World Asthma Day
World Asthma Day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. The theme of World Asthma Day 2013 is "You Can Control Your Asthma". This is consistent with the emphasis on asthma control set out in the latest versions of the GINA documents. Asthma control is defined by a range of clinical parameters such as patients experiencing no or minimal symptoms, no waking at night due to asthma and the ability to do normal physical activity and exercise.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) inflammatory disorder of the airways which leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. Asthma is a serious public health issue affecting approximately 30 million people in Western Europe. Patients with poorly managed asthma are at an increased risk of exacerbations, hospitalisation and death. Poorly managed asthma can also have a huge impact on a person's quality of life and day-to-day activities.
The Mundipharma network of independent associated companies consists of privately owned companies and joint ventures covering the world's pharmaceutical markets. These companies are committed to bringing to patients the benefits of pioneering treatment options in the core therapy areas of oncology, pain, respiratory and rheumatoid arthritis. For further information please visit: http://www.mundipharma.com
For supporting materials please visit: http://www.mundipharma.com/Press/RespiratoryResources/background
1. Braman, S. The Global Burden of Asthma. Chest 2006; 130: 4S-12S.
2. Mundipharma International Limited data on file: REALISE - European Asthma Patient Survey Results, 2012.
3. Demoly, P., K. Annunziata, E. Gubba and L. Adamek. Repeated cross-sectional survey of patient reported asthma control in Europe in the past 5 years. Eur Respir Rev 2012; 21: 123, 67-74.
4. Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). Global strategy for asthma management and prevention (updated 2012). http://www.ginaasthma.com.
Date of preparation: April 2013