Role of Family Physicians in Implementing Asthma Self-Management Programs
Bart P.A. Thoonen
Chris van Weel
The reality of everyday asthma care differs substantially from guidelines. The fact that better possibilities for asthma care do not result in better outcomes remains an enigma and harms professional pride. Patient self-management has been presented as a tool to improve outcome of care. Based on published work thus far, it can be concluded that self-management of asthma can be beneficial from both the family physicians' and the patients' perspective and, under certain conditions, proves to be an efficient method of incorporating both interests. Health professionals play an important role in implementing self-care, but several barriers should be solved first: attitudes of health professionals and patients need to shift towards shared responsibilities and be patient-centered and organization of care should change accordingly. As reviewed in this article, the typical features of self-management of asthma may provide the means to overcome these barriers.
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