Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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A survey of asthma management practices and implementation of Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines among doctors in a resource-limited setting in Nigeria

E.I. Chima, M.O. Iroezindu, N.R. Uchenna, G.O. Mbata, C.G. Okwuonu


Background: Bronchial asthma is a global health problem that causes significant morbidity and mortality in all age groups. Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) seeks to standardize the care asthma patients receive. We assessed the knowledge, attitude, and practices of doctors in Umuahia, Southeast Nigeria, regarding asthma and determined the extent to which they abide by GINA guidelines in their management of asthma.

Methodology: It was a descriptive cross‑sectional study. A pretested self‑administered questionnaire was used to obtain information from the participants regarding knowledge of asthma prevalence, asthma risk factors, and management practices.

Results: Out of 142 questionnaires administered, 117 were retrieved giving a response rate of 82%. About 70% were men, and the most common age group was 30–39 years (57.3%). The median duration of medical practice was 6 (3–12) years. About 77% reported asthma prevalence to be on the increase. While 105 (89.7%) respondents had seen a spirometer, only 28 (23.9%) use spirometry in asthma diagnosis. Similarly, 95 (81.2%) had seen a peak flow meter, but only 41 (35.5%) use it in asthma diagnosis. Only 7 (6.0%) respondents reported that their patients keep a peak flow diary. Of 117 respondents, 94 (80.3%) know about GINA guidelines for asthma control, 45 (38.5%) apply GINA guidelines in patient care, 86 (73.5%) regularly review patient inhaler technique, 33 (28.2%) use adult asthma control test while 17 (14.5%) regularly review asthma action plan with patients.

Conclusion: There is a wide gap between GINA guidelines and the knowledge, attitude, and practices of doctors in Umuahia regarding asthma.

Keywords: Asthma, attitude, doctors, Global Initiative for Asthma, knowledge, practices, Umuahia

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