What bothers severe asthma patients most? A paired patient-clinician study across seven European countries

Ben Ainsworth, Eleanor Chatburn, Aruna T. Bansal, Olivia Fulton, Dominique Hamerlijnck, Courtney Coleman, Katrien Eger, Michael Hyland, Joshua Holmes, Liam Heaney, Vratislav Sedlák, Sabina Škrgat, Natalija Edelbaher, Anneke ten Brinke, Celeste Porsbjerg, Mina Gaga, Claudia Loureiro, Ratko Djukanovic, Emmanuelle Berret, Namhee Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Severe asthma is a complex, multi-dimensional disease. Optimal treatment adherence and outcomes require shared decision-making, rooted in mutual understanding between patient and clinician. This study used a novel, patient-centred approach to examine the most bothersome aspects of severe asthma to patients, as seen from both perspectives in asthma registries.

Methods: Across seven countries, 126 patients with severe asthma completed an open-ended survey regarding most bothersome aspect(s) of their asthma. Patients’ responses were linked with their treating clinician who also completed free-text survey about each patient's most bothersome aspect(s). Responses were coded using content analysis, and patient and clinician responses were compared. Finally, asthma registries that are part of the SHARP Clinical Research Collaboration were examined to see the extent to which they reflected the most bothersome aspects reported by patients.

Results: Eighty-eight codes and 10 themes were identified. Clinicians were more focused on direct physical symptoms and were less focused on ‘holistic’ aspects such as the effort required to self-manage their disease. Clinicians accurately identified a most bothersome symptom for 29% of patients. Agreement was particularly low in younger patients and those infrequently using oral corticosteroids. In asthma registries, patient aspects were predominantly represented in questionnaires.

Conclusions: Results demonstrated different perspectives and priorities between patients and clinicians, with clinicians more focused on physical aspects. These differences must be considered when treating individual patients, and within multi-disciplinary treatment teams. The use of questionnaires that include multi-faceted aspects of disease may result in improved asthma research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number00717-2022
JournalERJ Open Research
Issue number3
Early online date23 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

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