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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 6 (1999), Issue 3, Pages 273-280
Original Article

Asthma Education, Action Plans, Psychosocial Issues and Adherence

John Kolbe

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Green Lane Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article deals with four separate but not disparate topics. The first section discusses asthma education, reviews the current literature and attempts to challenge some of the dogma that is associated with this area. Knowledge alone does not guarantee appropriate behaviour, due to a variety of adverse socioeconomic and psychological factors that need to be considered for each patient. Action plans and peak flow monitoring have both been disappointing in terms of reducing asthma morbidity; the former needs to be individualized, and the latter may be useful in specific situations. Space precludes an in-depth discussion of psychological issues and adherence, but an attempt has been made to address salient issues, particularly related to the first two topics. Psychological factors, especially anxiety, play an important role in asthma outcome. Adherence to medication prescriptions and other management strategies need to be taken into account when an individual’s treatment program is planned.