This eighth edition of the clinical treatment guidelines for asthma, the Australian Asthma Handbook v2.0, formerly the Asthma Management Handbook, is a purpose-built, fully searchable website rather than a printed document, and still provides downloadable and accessible print-friendly alternatives.
The Australian Asthma Handbook provides evidence-based practical guidance to primary care health professionals on the diagnosis and management of asthma in adults and children, and provides a benchmark for the standard of care for people with asthma.
This online format is designed to enable more frequent updates to the Handbook so that it remains at the forefront of asthma management, nationally and internationally. As such, minor updates were published as Version 1.1 in April 2015, Version 1.2 in October 2016, and Version 1.3 in December 2017.
Version 2.0 is the first major update since 2014 and it covers updates in information and advice in the diagnosis and management of paediatric asthma, and new recommendations in acute asthma, severe asthma, and primary prevention. It still holds to the previous editions' commitment to providing practical advice for primary health care practitioners to support them in providing the best possible care for people with asthma.
The latest edition of the Handbook was informed by ongoing consultation with primary care health professionals and developed with a wide multidisciplinary network of honorary contributors. Led by the multidisciplinary Guidelines Committee, these contributors consisted of five topic Working Groups and numerous individual consultants, reviewers, expert readers and website user testers. Overall this Handbook revision involved more than 50 experts from general practice, nursing, pharmacy, asthma education, respiratory medicine and science, allergy, emergency medicine, and scientific research.
Many thanks go to my fellow Guidelines Committee members, the topic Working Groups and other honorary contributors, the dedicated National Asthma Council Australia staff and medical writer, and to all our supporters who have worked unstintingly to give Australia such excellent, relevant and practical asthma guidelines.
Professor Amanda Barnard