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Open Access Original research

Insights, attitudes, and perceptions about asthma and its treatment: findings from a multinational survey of patients from Latin America

Jorge F Maspero1*, Jose R Jardim2, Alvaro Aranda3, Paolo Tassinari C4, Sandra N Gonzalez-Diaz5, Raul H Sansores6, Jorge J Moreno-Cantu7 and James E Fish8

Author Affiliations

1 Allergy and Respiratory Research Unit, Fundacion CIDEA, Paraguay 2035, Buenos Aires, 2 SS, Argentina

2 Disciplina de Pneumologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Botucatú 740 - 3º andar, São Paulo, 04023-062, Brazil

3 CardioPulmonary Research Group, Hospital Auxilio Mutuo, Apartado 191227, San Juan, PR 00918 1000, Puerto Rico

4 Instituto de Inmunología, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Apartado postal 1050 - Ciudad Universitaria, Caracas, Distrito Capital 1051, Venezuela

5 Centro Regional de Alergia e Inmunología Clínica, Hospital Universitario “Dr. José Eleuterio González”, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Ave. Madero y Gonzalitos s/n, Col. Mitras Centro, Monterrey, Nuevo León, 64460, Mexico

6 Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Calzada de Tlalpan 4502, Belisario Domínguez Sección 16, Tlalpan, Mexico City, Distrito Federal 14080, Mexico

7 Global Scientific and Medical Publications, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., 1 Merck Drive, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, USA

8 Global Scientific Affairs, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., 1 Merck Drive, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, USA

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World Allergy Organization Journal 2013, 6:19  doi:10.1186/1939-4551-6-19

Published: 4 November 2013

Abstract

Background

In 2011 the Latin America Asthma Insight and Management (LA AIM) survey explored the realities of living with asthma. We investigated perception, knowledge, and attitudes related to asthma among Latin American asthma patients.

Methods

Asthma patients aged ≥12 years from four Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela) and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico responded to questions during face-to-face interviews. A sample size of 2,169 patients (approximately 400 patients/location) provided an accurate representation of asthma patients’ opinions. Questions probed respondents’ views on topics such as levels of asthma control, frequency and duration of exacerbations, and current and recent use of asthma medications.

Results

A total of 2,169 adults or parents of children with asthma participated in the LA AIM survey. At least 20% of respondents experienced symptoms every day or night or most days or nights. Although 60% reported their disease as well or completely controlled, only 8% met guideline criteria for well-controlled asthma. 47% of respondents reported episodes when their asthma symptoms were more frequent or severe than normal, and 44% reported seeking acute care for asthma in the past year. Asthma patients in Latin America overestimated their degree of asthma control.

Conclusions

The LA AIM survey demonstrated the discrepancy between patient perception of asthma control and guideline-mandated criteria. Additional education is required to teach patients that, by more closely following asthma management strategies outlined by current guidelines more patients can achieve adequate asthma control.

Keywords:
Asthma; Controlled; Guidelines; Exacerbation; Patient burden; Symptoms