By Dr. Larry Chiaramonte
I was gratified to read about an article in Pediatrics by Bradley Chipps, MD, urging pediatricians to use a low-tech tool to help keep track of the state of patients’ asthma.
Caregivers of children under 5 answered questions about breathing problems and medication use within the previous 4 weeks during two separate visits a month to 6 weeks apart. Chipps and colleagues said scores trended in “expected directions” for children whose parents reported poorly controlled or well-controlled asthma.
The article acknowledges that allergists have used a similar tool called the Asthma Control Test (ACT) for years.
This low-tech approach is also being promoted in Canada where. Dr. Francine Ducharme, of the University of Montreal’s Department of Pediatrics, is promoting asthma action plans. He said here, “”Considering its considerable benefit at low cost, I recommend the provision of the action plan at time of discharge after an emergency visit or hospital admission and after each preventive visit, for asthma.”
We wrote our book and founded this website because we recognized that more asthma and allergy treatment is being done by primary care doctors, including pediatricians. Dr. Ehrlich and I are both happy to share our specialist knowledge to enhance the general effectiveness of treatment. Thus, it is very encouraging to see initiatives like that of Dr. Cripps and his colleagues and their Canadian counterparts.
Pediatricians who have questions about asthma control are encouraged to write to us at our Physician Mailbag, which appears on the navigation bar on this website.