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As-Needed Budesonide–Formoterol versus Maintenance Budesonide in Mild Asthma

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      Measurement properties and interpretation of three shortened versions of the asthma control questionnaire.

      The Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) measures the adequacy of asthma treatment as identified by international guidelines. It consists of seven items (5 x symptoms, rescue bronchodilator use and FEV1% of predicted normal). A validation study suggested that in clinical studies measurement of FEV1 and bronchodilator use may not be needed but this has never formally been tested in a clinical trial. The aims of this analysis were (1) to examine the measurement properties of three shortened versions of the ACQ (symptoms alone, symptoms plus FEV1 and symptoms plus short-acting beta2-agonist) and (2) to determine whether using the shortened versions would alter the results of a clinical trial. In the randomised trial, 552 adults completed the ACQ at baseline and after 13 and 26 weeks of treatment. The analysis showed that the measurement properties of all four versions of the ACQ are very similar. Agreement between the original ACQ and the reduced versions was high (intraclass correlation coefficients: 0.94-0.99). Mean differences between the ACQ and the shortened versions were less than 0.04 (on the 7-point scale). Clinical trial results using the four versions were almost identical with the mean treatment difference ranging from -0.09 (P=0.17), to -0.13 (P=0.07). For interpretability, the minimal important difference for all four versions was close to 0.5. In conclusion, these three shortened versions of the ACQ can be used in large clinical trials without loss of validity or change in interpretation.
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        Low-dose inhaled corticosteroids and the prevention of death from asthma.

        Although inhaled corticosteroids are effective for the treatment of asthma, it is uncertain whether their use can prevent death from asthma. We used the Saskatchewan Health data bases to form a population-based cohort of all subjects from 5 through 44 years of age who were using antiasthma drugs during the period from 1975 through 1991. We followed subjects until the end of 1997, their 55th birthday, death, emigration, or termination of health insurance coverage; whichever came first. We conducted a nested case-control study in which subjects who died of asthma were matched with controls within the cohort according to the length of follow-up at the time of death of the case patient (the index date), the date of study entry, and the severity of asthma. We calculated rate ratios after adjustment for the subject's age and sex; the number of prescriptions of theophylline, nebulized and oral beta-adrenergic agonists, and oral corticosteroids in the year before the index date; the number of canisters of inhaled beta-adrenergic agonists used in the year before the index date; and the number of hospitalizations for asthma in the two years before the index date. The cohort consisted of 30,569 subjects. Of the 562 deaths, 77 were classified as due to asthma. We matched the 66 subjects who died of asthma for whom there were complete data with 2681 controls. Fifty-three percent of the case patients and 46 percent of the control patients had used inhaled corticosteroids in the previous year, most commonly low-dose beclomethasone. The mean number of canisters was 1.18 for the patients who died and 1.57 for the controls. On the basis of a continuous dose-response analysis, we calculated that the rate of death from asthma decreased by 21 percent with each additional canister of inhaled corticosteroids used in the previous year (adjusted rate ratio, 0.79; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.65 to 0.97). The rate of death from asthma during the first three months after discontinuation of inhaled corticosteroids was higher than the rate among patients who continued to use the drugs. The regular use of low-dose inhaled corticosteroids is associated with a decreased risk of death from asthma.
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          Compliance, adherence, and concordance: implications for asthma treatment.

           Rob Horne (2006)
          Good-quality outcomes in asthma hinge not just on the availability of medications but also on their appropriate use by patients: optimal "self-management." In asthma, low rates of adherence to prophylactic (preventer) medication are associated with higher rates of hospitalization and death. Many patients choose not to take their medication because they perceive it to be unnecessary or because they are concerned about potential adverse effects. Approximately one third of asthma patients have strong concerns about adverse effects from inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). These concerns are not just related to the experience of local symptoms attributed to ICS side effects, but also include more abstract concerns about the future, arising from the belief that regular use of ICS will result in adverse long-term effects or dependence. We need more effective ways of eliciting and addressing patients' concerns about ICS. The development of ICS options with an improved safety profile remains a key objective. However, the ideal solution is not just pharmacologic. We also need more effective ways of communicating the relative benefits and risks to patients in order to facilitate informed adherence. Clinicians must be prepared to work in an ongoing partnership with patients to ensure that they are offered a clear rationale as to why ICS are necessary and to address their concerns about potential adverse effects. This approach, based on a detailed examination of patients' perspectives on asthma and its treatment, and an open, nonjudgmental manner on the part of the clinician, is consistent with the idea of concordance.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]From the Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa (E.D.B.); Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney (H.K.R.); Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, St. Joseph’s Healthcare and Department of Medicine, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON (P.M.O.), and the Institute for Heart and Lung Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (J.M.F.) — both in Canada; Airway Disease...
            Journal
            New England Journal of Medicine
            N Engl J Med
            New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM/MMS)
            0028-4793
            1533-4406
            May 17 2018
            May 17 2018
            : 378
            : 20
            : 1877-1887
            10.1056/NEJMoa1715275
            © 2018
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