Background: Asthma is one of the most prevalent diseases in Korea. Although the guidelines of asthma management were reported in Korea, the present pattern of asthma management by primary physicians has not been studied. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the pattern of asthma management by primary physicians. Methods: In November 2002, 710 primary physicians specializing in internal medicine in Seoul, Korea were provided with two scenarios of asthmatic patients, one mild and the other severe. By mail or interview, the physicians were asked several questions about their present pattern of asthma management for the patients in each scenario. Results: Among 710 primary physicians, we obtained the answers from 325 physicians (response rate 46%). The most preferred prescription was oral theophylline. 71% and 81% of the physicians answered that they would prescribe oral theophylline for the mild and severe asthmatics, respectively. The next prescription preferred were mucolytics and oral β2-agonist, in that order. However, 36% and 56% of the physicians answered that they would prescribe inhaled steroids for the mild and severe asthmatics, respectively. Among diagnostic tests, physicians preferred pulmonary function test to the rank next to chest radiography. Conclusion: The primary physicians in Seoul prefer oral bronchodilators to inhaled steroids in asthma management. More efforts should be made to reduce the difference between the present pattern of asthma management by primary physicians and the asthma guidelines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Infectious Diseases