Building a National CASE for Better Communication: Poor Asthma Control in Canada Gives Patients Something to Talk About



    - New Asthma Society of Canada Bulletin underscores the need for open
    dialogue between patients and healthcare professionals to better manage
    the disease -

    TORONTO, April 10 /CNW/ - It's time for a revolution in respiratory care
in Canada; not only does Canada have one of the highest incidences of asthma
in the world(1), but nearly sixty per cent of Canadian asthma cases remain
uncontrolled.(2) Studies indicate that a major reason for this poor
self-management is a lack of communication between patients and their
physicians on the symptoms of asthma and the side effects of treatments.(3)
The second edition of the State of the Asthma Nation - The National CASE
Studies Bulletin, released today by the Asthma Society of Canada, addresses
this challenge by providing patients and healthcare professionals with an
important educational resource that offers advice and tips on how to bridge
the communication gap.
    "It's important for physicians, pharmacists and patients to discuss
symptoms and side effects of asthma therapies, and work together to develop a
system that sets and monitors goals for asthma management to ensure patients
gain life-long control of this serious disease," says Dr. Mark Greenwald,
Vice-president, chair, Medical and Scientific Committee, Asthma Society of
Canada. "We are excited to release the latest State of the Asthma Nation
Bulletin, with the goal of providing healthcare professionals and patients
optimal ways of managing asthma, and reducing the percentage of Canadians who
don't have their asthma under control."
    The latest edition of the State of the Asthma Nation Bulletin brings
together a variety of perspectives from across the spectrum of respiratory
care. The four-page document profiles: Canadian patient experiences and points
of view on living and managing their disease; pharmacist advice on asthma
symptoms; physician insights into the effects of some asthma treatments,
including oral side effects (oral thrush, pharyngitis and hoarseness) asthma
news, and information on asthma triggers.
    "Without a proper dialogue between patients and their physicians about
the root causes of poor asthma control, asthma will remain a serious problem
for people with the disease, the medical community and the Canadian health
care system", says Dr. Stephen Field, respirologist and clinical professor of
medicine, University of Calgary.
    The State of the Asthma Nation Bulletin also addresses the impact that
oral side effects associated with inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatments -
the recommended first-line treatment for asthma according to the Canadian
Asthma Guidelines(4) - can have on patients taking their medication as
prescribed by their physician. The all-Canadian Control of Asthma and Side
Effects (CASE) survey, from which the Bulletin takes its name, found that 28
per cent of asthma patients report experiencing side effects including oral
thrush, pharyngitis and hoarseness after using a first-line recommended
inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment.(5) As a result, without consulting
their physician, patients decide to stop, switch or alter their treatment,
ultimately leading to poorer control of their disease.(6)
    "For years, I used an inhaled corticosteroid treatment twice-a-day to
help control my asthma, and there were times when I had to endure hoarseness
and the painful white coating on my tongue signifying an infection, which had
a huge impact on my day-to-day life", says Lisa Hurshman, a long-time asthma
sufferer who has been using ICS therapies for 14 years. "Since discussing
these side effects with my physician and pharmacist, I am now taking a new
asthma treatment that has significantly reduced these side effects, and
allowed me to gain better control of my disease."

    About the State of the Asthma Nation Bulletin - The National CASE Studies
    The State of the Asthma Nation Bulletin - The National CASE Studies, is
an educational resource, designed to draw attention to the seriousness of poor
asthma control in Canada and encourage patients and healthcare providers to
work together to better control the disease. The Asthma Society of Canada
encourages Canadians with asthma to treat their condition seriously and to
take control of the disease by talking to their doctor about symptoms and side
effects of treatment. The Bulletin was funded by an unrestricted grant from
ALTANA Pharma Inc., a Nycomed company.
    The State of the Asthma Nation - The National CASE Studies Bulletin is a
follow-up to the State of the Asthma Nation Bulletin released in September
2006, and is available to patients, caregivers and healthcare providers across
Canada through the Asthma Society of Canada. For additional copies, please
visit www.asthma.ca.

    
    About Asthma in Canada
    -  Canada has one of the highest incidences of asthma in the world(7) -
       affecting an estimated three million Canadians(8)
    -  Asthma is the number one cause of emergency room visits(7)
    -  Approximately 20 children and 500 adults die from asthma each year(7)
    

    About The Asthma Society of Canada
    The Asthma Society of Canada is a nationally registered, voluntary health
organization with a 31-year reputation of providing respiratory support
services to patients and health professionals. Our vision is to ensure that
every Canadian child and adult diagnosed with asthma, associated allergies and
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) enjoys a high quality of life.
    For more information about the Asthma Society of Canada and our services,
visit www.asthma.ca, or email us at info@asthma.ca, or call our toll-free
support line 1-866-787-4050.

    References

    ---------------------------------------
    (1) The Lung Association, Asthma: A Resource for Canadian Journalists,
    retrieved February 2007;
    http://www.lung.ca/news/2005.04.28.asthma.media.guide.v3.pdf:pg5.
    (2) Fitzgerald, JM., Chan, CK., Boulet, L-P. The Control of Asthma and
    Side Effects (CASE) - A Canadian Survey - Medication use, asthma control
    and oropharengeal side effects in a population of Canadian asthma
    patients. ATS Conference 2006, abstract 600.
    (3) The GAPP Survey Working Group. Canadian Results - Global Asthma
    Physician and Patient (GAPP) Survey: Patient Education and Patient -
    Physician Communications, 2005.
    (4) Lemiere C, Bai T, Balter M et al. Adult asthma consensus guidelines
    update 2003. Can Respir J. 2004; 11 (Suppl A) -9:33A
    (5) Fitzgerald, JM., Chan, CK., Boulet, L-P. The Control of Asthma and
    Side Effects (CASE) - A Canadian Survey - Medication use, asthma control
    and oropharengeal side effects in a population of Canadian asthma
    patients. ATS Conference 2006, abstract 600.
    (6) Ibid
    (7) The Lung Association, Asthma: A Resource for Canadian Journalists,
    retrieved February 2007;
    http://www.lung.ca/news/2005.04.28.asthma.media.guide.v3.pdf:pg5
    (8) Asthma Society of Canada, February 2007;
    http://www.asthma.ca/adults/about/who GetsAsthma.php.





For further information:

For further information: or a copy of the State of the Asthma Nation -
National CASE Studies Bulletin, please contact: Rosalind O'Connell, Manning
Selvage & Lee (MS&L), (416) 847-1321; Oxana Latycheva, The Asthma Society of
Canada, (416) 787-4050 ext. 108

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