OBJECTIVE: To examine the treatment of asthma in children aged 4-15 years in the 12 months following presentation to hospital with acute asthma but not requiring admission. METHOD: Questionnaire based survey addressing the child's use of health services, contact with general practitioners before presentation, use of asthma management plans, symptom frequency, and management of asthma. RESULTS: Sixty-six parents (response rate 50%) completed questionnaires. Children usually experienced infrequent episodic symptoms of asthma, and had good or excellent health (68%). Twenty-two children reported no medical follow up post-emergency department (ED). Of the 39 children who had been reviewed by their GP post-ED, 51% (n = 20) recalled discussing the reasons for presentation to ED with the GP, 41% (n = 16) had a lung function measurement and 64% (n = 25) had discussed ways to better manage the child's asthma to avoid the need for future ED attendance. Most parents of children with asthma (n = 57, 86%) recalled the GP explaining how to manage their child's asthma, but only 35 (61.4%) recalled the GP ever writing down these instructions. CONCLUSION: Children with acute asthma who do not require admission may be better managed in the community if there is greater recourse to GP care, use of written management guidelines and opportunities for additional community care are taken up. Further work is needed to identify strategies that will enable GPs to do this.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Australian Family Physician|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2002|