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Are pregnant women with asthma receiving guideline-recommended antenatal asthma management? A survey of pregnant women receiving usual care in Australia

      Abstract

      Background

      Asthma affects 12.7% of pregnant women in Australia. Key recommendations for asthma management during pregnancy include: 4–6 weekly review of lung function, medications, written asthma action plan, inhaler device technique, current asthma control and triggers; smoking cessation and vaccination advice. It is unknown if these key recommendations are provided to pregnant women with asthma in Australia.

      Aim

      To explore usual antenatal asthma management (usual care) in Australia and the inclusion of key recommendations.

      Method

      Pregnant women with asthma were invited to complete an online survey distributed in 2 antenatal clinics and via social media platforms from July 2017-Jan 2019.

      Results

      The survey was completed by 142 pregnant women with asthma. 87(61%) were enrolled in an asthma management clinical trial and were therefore not receiving ‘usual’ care. Data presented is from 55(39%) women receiving usual care at survey completion. Of these women, 36% did not have their asthma reviewed during their pregnancy, 31% had a written asthma action plan, 11% had lung function assessed, 38% had an asthma medication review and 35% had their inhaler technique reviewed. 65% were not questioned about their asthma symptoms, 85% were not asked about asthma triggers, 96% were not given information about vaccinations and 95% did not receive smoking cessation information.

      Conclusions

      Overall, the key recommendations for antenatal asthma management were not always provided for this sample of pregnant women receiving usual care. Improved knowledge and implementation of these key recommendations by health professionals may alter this situation and improve maternal and infant outcomes.

      Keywords

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