How frequently is asthma objectively demonstrated before starting a biologic? Quality assessment of a group practice of allergists and immunologists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Worldwide, asthma-related healthcare cost remains a major burden. Individuals with severe asthma account for 50% of that cost. Although they are expensive, biologics such as anti-IL5 and anti-IgE agents promise cost-effectiveness when judiciously used to decrease asthma-related hospitalization and the debilitating side effects of systemic corticosteroids. Before considering biologics to treat patients with asthma, current guidelines recommend confirmation of asthma and control of comorbid diseases. Diagnostic confirmation of asthma can be challenging among individuals with severe asthma. In this quality assessment study, we determined the frequency of objective asthma confirmation and addressing of comorbidities prior to starting biologics at a group practice of allergists and immunologists. We surveyed our specialty providers to understand habit(s) leading to the observed results. We identified 40 adult patients who started on biologic modifiers for asthma over the past 5 years. Only 58% of these patients had a proper diagnosis of asthma. Providers underutilized several diagnostic methods that may prove useful in confirming asthma diagnosis in this patient population. The factors contributing to poor asthma control were rarely addressed. A sense of urgency to initiate biologics was the primary reason for the observed results. Further interventions are needed to improve asthma diagnosis and management prior to the initiation of biologic therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9482
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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