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Shared Decision-Making Tool Can Identify Best Treatment Plan for Patients With Severe Asthma

Laura Joszt
New tools from the American College of Chest Physicians' CHEST Foundation, the Allergy & Asthma Network, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology can help clinicians and patients to work together to choose the best treatment and increase adherence.
A new tool can be used by clinicians and patients to determine the best treatment for patients with severe asthma. The Shared Decision-Making Tool is the result of a collaboration between the CHEST Foundation—the charitable foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians—the Allergy & Asthma Network, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI).

Asthma affects 1 in 12 adults and 1 in 11 children in the United States for a total of 22 million Americans. It affects females more than males (9.7% vs 6.9%) and blacks more than whites (11.6% vs 8.3%) or Hispanics (6.6%), according to 2016 data from the CDC. However, as a subset of Hispanics, Puerto Ricans were more affected, with 14.3% having asthma.

“The tool is a step forward in helping direct the conversation between allergists and their patients with asthma,” allergist Bradley Chipps, MD, president of ACAAI, said in a statement. “Fully informed conversations regarding asthma treatment mean greater asthma control and ultimately increased relief for those suffering with asthma.”

According to the press release, some patients with asthma believe their condition is well controlled, which can be a dangerous misconception. The Shared Decision-Making Tool is supposed to shed light on the importance of self-management, shared decision making, and the importance of knowing the difference between controlled and uncontrolled asthma.

The tool is available online and in print and can help patients and clinicians to work together to choose the best treatment plan and increase adherence.

The partnership has also yielded another tool, which can be used to improve patient awareness and monitor and manage asthma symptoms. The Asthma Severity Assessment Tool can determine if a patient needs to visit an asthma specialist.

“We hope these tools will arm patients with the knowledge needed to talk effectively with doctors about their asthma and empower them to achieve optimal health outcomes,” said Tonya Winders, president and CEO of the Allergy & Asthma Network.

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