Asthma Management Handbook
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Table. Preventive healthcare in people with asthma

Type of preventive care

Issues

Clinical notes

Lifestyle risk factors for chronic disease

Smoking

Advise quitting and repeatedly offer help to quit smoking, whether or not the person shows interest in quitting

Consider scheduling planned asthma check-ups to assess recent asthma symptom control every 6 months for people who smoke, due to increased risk of flare-ups and increased rate of decline in lung function over time

Follow national guidelines for smoking cessation

Nutrition

Encourage healthy eating for all patients with asthma:

  • eating plenty of fruit and vegetables every day
  • minimising intake of processed and take-away foods that are high in saturated fats

Follow national dietary guidelines

Physical activity

Recommend physical training for quality-of-life benefits

Advise patients that having asthma does not prevent them doing physical activity, including exercise training

Obesity

Advise that weight loss might help control asthma

Support obese or overweight people with asthma to lose weight

Follow current national guidelines for the management of obesity and overweight

Immunisation

Influenza vaccination

Advise routinely for patients with frequent hospitalisations due to asthma and requiring multiple asthma medicines

Influenza vaccines are free of charge for people with severe asthma

Vaccination may not reduce the risk or severity of asthma flare-ups during the influenza season

Follow national immunisation guidelines

Pneumococcal vaccination

Follow national immunisation guidelines

General health

Comorbidities

Manage other conditions that may affect asthma or self-management, e.g:

  • allergies, including allergic rhinitis
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome

Mental health

Consider how mental health and psychosocial issues could affect asthma and self-management

Screen for depression, panic disorder and anxiety disorder in patients with asthma that is moderate–severe or difficult to control

Complementary medicines

Ask patients whether they use complementary medicines

If patient interested in using complementary and alternative medicines and therapies, discuss expectations and provide information about safety and efficacy

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