The Observations of Patient Experience in the Nation (OPEN) Asthma Survey was commissioned by the Allergy & Asthma Network and sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to explore current attitudes of healthcare providers and patients about asthma control with the goal of identifying areas for improvement. The survey included people living with asthma who were treated with daily prescription medicine, as well as healthcare providers who treat patients with asthma.
The majority of patients report their symptoms are well-controlled and their lives are not strongly affected by their asthma. Yet:
- On average, they report experiencing symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and daytime fatigue on a weekly basis
- 70 percent report regularly experiencing some limits to performing everyday activities such as walking, getting enough sleep and household chores
Patients don’t report asthma significantly affects their life, but asking very specific questions about experiencing limits to activities can elucidate the challenges patients are facing
In contrast, according to surveyed healthcare providers:
- Well-controlled patients should only be experiencing symptoms about once a month
- 84 percent report well-controlled patients should experience no limits to everyday activities
Probing on specific symptoms a patient is experiencing and objective classification tools can help assess true severity and level of control
The findings also reveal a communication gap between healthcare providers and patients regarding the conversation topics during routine office visits:
- Fewer than half of patients surveyed say they discuss symptoms with less than one-third saying they discuss how asthma affects daily life, and even fewer discuss an asthma action plan
- However, the majority of healthcare providers report regularly discussing these same topics with their patients
The results reinforce the need to focus patient and healthcare provider dialogue on symptoms, limits to activities and asthma action plans in order to help patients achieve better asthma control
The patient and healthcare provider survey arms were conducted separately and there were no known relationships between the patients and healthcare providers surveyed.