Around 5.2 million people in the U.K. have asthma. Symptoms of the disease are often variable, so a fixed treatment regimen is not always appropriate. Personal asthma action plans aim to prompt patients to adjust their medication, or seek medical help, in response to changes in symptoms or peak flow readings. A national clinical guideline in the U.K. recommends that patients with asthma should be offered education in self-management, including a written asthma action plan that focuses on their individual needs. At present, only a minority of people with asthma report receiving such an action plan. Here we discuss the potential content of action plans and review the evidence for their effectiveness.
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