An information and educational program "Assess addiction" has been launched in Russia for patients with bronchial asthma. It is designed to assess the risk of over-dependence on "emergency" inhalers. The leading pulmonologists of the country spoke about the benefits of the program for patients at the XXX National Congress on Respiratory Diseases.
Bronchial asthma is one of the most common and socially significant chronic respiratory diseases among people of all ages.
In Russia, up to 7 million people can suffer from it, although only about 1% of the population has been officially diagnosed with it, which is about 1.5 million Russians.
Asthma symptoms are often mistaken for signs of chronic cough or bronchitis and therefore self-medicate.
Another reason for the incorrect and untimely treatment of the disease is its possible seasonality. Recurrent bronchial asthma often occurs during the flowering period and is mistaken for an allergy.
Experts point out that a serious problem in the field of treatment of the disease is the excessive use by patients of short-acting bronchodilators, or so-called "emergency" inhalers.
Diagnosed patients often treat the disease symptomatically rather than initiating routine inhaled anti-inflammatory therapy.
Meanwhile, short-acting bronchodilators are not first-line drugs and are not recommended for monotherapy. The use of "first aid" inhalers three or more times a week indicates an uncontrolled course of the disease. These patients are at increased risk of exacerbations.
With the wrong treatment, the disease begins to progress, doctors warn. The structure of the bronchi changes, the frequency of attacks increases. The progression of inflammation can lead to exacerbation and urgent hospitalization. Exacerbations of bronchial asthma can be very severe and life-threatening.
The Assess Addiction information program will help you assess the risk of over-dependence on emergency inhalers. If it is, then the patient needs to think about a visit to the doctor to correct therapy.
The emergence of this program was readily supported by several medical communities in Russia at once, noted the chief freelance pulmonologist of the Ministry of Health Sergei Avdeev.
Andrei Belevsky, President of the Russian Respiratory Society, explained that the questionnaire is intended for patient self-monitoring. He will help him realize that control over the course of bronchial asthma is reduced and there is a likelihood of exacerbations against the background of the use of short-acting bronchodilators.
“Patients often overestimate the degree of control over the course of bronchial asthma, mistaking for control the possibility of permanent relief of symptoms of bronchial asthma due to the frequent use of short-acting bronchodilators. Only a doctor can convince him otherwise, but for this the patient must come to the doctor,”the specialist emphasized.
Natalia Geppe, Chairperson of the Pediatric Respiratory Society, in turn, noted that the "Assess Addiction" program is very important for the management of children and adolescents. According to studies, most adolescents with bronchial asthma use only emergency inhalers to relieve symptoms, which increases the risk of severe exacerbations and hospitalizations.
“The Addiction Assessment program shows a psychological portrait of a modern adolescent with bronchial asthma and helps to understand himself and the possibilities of living with this disease in the environment,” she added.
The Information and Educational Program "Assess Addiction" is supported by the Russian Respiratory Society, the Russian Scientific Medical Society of Physicians and the Pediatric Respiratory Society.
Source: KA "MediaTerra"