Management and Control of Asthma in Patients Attending a Specialist Centre in Oman

Omar A Al-Rawas, Jayakrishnan B, Fatma Ben Abid, Jojy George, Sawsan A Baddar, Bazdawi M Al-Riyami

Abstract


Objectives: The management of asthma by specialists is likely to become more evidence-based. This study analysed the characteristics of patients reporting to a specialist clinic including demographics, dispensed medications and the level of asthma control. Methods: All consecutive stable asthmatics seen in the adult pulmonary clinics of Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman, between December 2005 and November 2006 were prospectively evaluated using a structured assessment protocol. Results: Of the 207 patients, (mean age 40.64 ±14.8), 72% were females. The majority, 83.1%, had moderate persistent asthma. A positive history of allergic rhinitis, eczema and a family history of asthma were obtained in 58.0%, 11.1%, and 50.7% of patients respectively. Total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) was elevated in 66.7%. Skin testing was positive for more than 2 antigens in 52.3%, with the house dust antigen being reactive in 49%. Inhaled steroids, long-acting beta agonists (LABA), antihistamines and leukotriene receptor antagonists were prescribed in 94.2%, 85%, 54.5% and 11.6% of cases respectively. The majority (40.1%) was receiving medium dose inhaled steroids. Although asthma was controlled in 162 (78.3%), during the previous month 66 (31.9%) patients had visited the emergency department and 31 (15.0%) patients were hospitalised at least once during the previous year. Only 63 (30.4%) patients were using their inhalers correctly. Good compliance with inhaled steroids was observed in only 53 (25.6%) patients. Conclusion: Allergic comorbidities and a strong family history of asthma were common. Although the level of asthma control in the previous month was high, it was much lower in the long term. The concepts of short term, long term and total control of asthma need to be explored.



Keywords


Asthma; Oman; Specialist care; Asthma control.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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