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Title: Understanding the journeys of patients with an asthma exacerbation requiring urgent therapy at a primary care clinic
Authors: Quek, Jing Sheng
Tang, Wern Ee
Chen, Elya
Smith, Helen Elizabeth
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Quek, J. S., Tang, W. E., Chen, E. & Smith, H. E. (2022). Understanding the journeys of patients with an asthma exacerbation requiring urgent therapy at a primary care clinic. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 22(1), 231-.
Project: CSPP-18003 
Journal: BMC Pulmonary Medicine 
Abstract: Background: Asthma is a significant health issue in primary care. We examined the journeys of patients with asthma exacerbations requiring urgent therapy at a primary care clinic in Singapore. Methods: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients who received urgent therapy for asthma exacerbation at a primary care clinic. Data collected was used to construct themes. Results: Fifteen multi-ethnic adult patients were recruited. Participants cited treatment cost, underuse of preventer medication, difficulties attending routine asthma care due to work, and stigma as barriers to asthma control. Reasons for delay in seeking urgent care for asthma were: inability to access medical care out of hours, competing priorities, perception that an exacerbation was ‘not serious enough’, difficulty recognizing symptoms of asthma exacerbation, and being tired or despondent. Participants were triggered to seek care due to failure of reliever inhalers, duration of symptoms, sleep disturbance, inability to work, or advice from others. During an exacerbation, participants often initiated other self-management measures besides using reliever medication. This included over-the-counter medications and non-pharmacological interventions (e.g. drinking water). Of the 15 patients interviewed, only one stepped up preventer inhaler adequately, according to their Asthma Action Plan (AAP). Conclusions: In caring for patients with asthma, primary care providers should address patients’ asthma self-management skills, such as recognizing symptoms of asthma exacerbations and regular preventer use, and provide clear instructions on how to respond to asthma symptoms (AAP). Minimizing direct (medication and consultation fees) and indirect costs (loss of earnings and adverse impact on employment prospects) are also important considerations.
ISSN: 1471-2466
DOI: 10.1186/s12890-022-02024-9
Schools: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
Rights: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativeco applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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