Asthma management in five European countries: doctors' knowledge, attitudes and prescribing behaviour

P Lagerlov*, CCM Veninga, M Muskova, E Hummers-Pradier, CS Lundborg, M Andrew, FM Haaijer-Ruskamp, Drug Educ Project DEP Grp, [No Value] DEP-group

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between guideline recommendations on asthma management, and the performance of doctors in five different European health care contexts, Knowledge, attitudes and prescribing behaviour of doctors recruited to an educational project was investigated.

    A total of 698 general practitioners from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, and 94 specialists from the Slovak Republic participated. A questionnaire was used to assess their knowledge and attitudes, Antiasthmatic drugs dispensed to their patients reflected their prescribing behaviour.

    In response to questions on how to treat chronic asthma, most doctors were in agreement with guideline recommendations. In practice, however, the proportion of asthma patients receiving inhaled steroids varied almost twofold, ranging 31% in Germany to 58% in the Netherlands. On questions related to exacerbation of asthma, German and Slovakian doctors often preferred treatment with antibiotics to steroids. They also more often associated yellow-green sputum with bacterial infection.

    In conclusion, although many doctors in different health care contexts have accepted the recommendations given in guidelines, the proportion of their patients treated accordingly differed. German and Slovakian doctors seem to attach less importance to the inflammatory features of asthma than the doctors from the other three European countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-29
    Number of pages5
    JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2000


    • asthma
    • attitudes
    • knowledge
    • prescribing

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