Asthma

Untitled Document
"Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are the two major chronic respiratory diseases in Australia, with the incidence of asthma among the highest in the world." Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).

This document has been ​peer-reviewed by Fellows of the RACP to help you find high quality CPD resources on asthma.

Resources are categorised by type:

  1. Key organisations & websites
  2. Webcasts
  3. Courses
  4. Tools
  5. Key journals
  6. Recommended reading

Professional development 

WHO estimates that around 235 million people currently suffer from asthma. This number is expected to increase in the next 10 years if urgent action is not taken. Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children and is more common in people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.  Asthma cannot be cured, however it can be controlled through different prevention and treatment plans according to individual symptoms. 

Around 2.3 million people suffer from asthma in Australia (1 in 10 Australians). It is more common in males aged 0–14, but among those aged 15 and over, it is more common in females. The rate of asthma among Indigenous Australians is almost twice as high as that of non-Indigenous Australians (Asthma Australia, 2016). 

In New Zealand, over 460,000 people take medication for asthma − one in nine adults and one in seven children. It is one of the most common causes of children hospital admissions. The highest number of people admitted to hospital with asthma is from a Māori or Pacific Islander background (Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, 2016).

This document includes information on:

  • Key organisations and support groups for health professionals and patients.
  • Some of the current  research in identification, prevention and management.
  • Strategies, policies, progams and recommendations to slow down this chronic disease.
  • Witness accounts by health professionals and patients on the daily management of asthma.

Short on time? Try this:

1. Key Organisations & Websites

Useful as a starting point and overview of current work in this area

CPD tipCPD TIP:  ​Don't forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these websites. Download the current MyCPD Framework here.

2. Webcasts

Useful for brief overviews of topics and recent developments

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these webcasts in Category 5 (1 credit/hr). Download the current MyCPD Framework here.

3. Courses

Useful for in depth, structured learning

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these courses. Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

  • Specialty Societies 
    The societies listed in section 1 offer professional development seminars, workshops and educational programs year round.  Their websites also advertise many national and international up-coming events.

  • MJA Professional Development
    MJA publishes a list of conferences, professional development seminars and educational programs based in Australia year round on various topics, including asthma.

4. Tools

Useful for implementing what you have learned in your daily practice

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these tools. Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

  • Various action plans, fact sheets and guides are published by National Asthma Council Australia and Asthma Australia that may be useful for patient education:
    ​Remote Indigenous Australian Short Wind Asthma Action Plan
    Asthma Basic Facts
    Staying Active with Asthma
    Asthma and Travel
    Asthma and Pregnancy
    Bushfires, Planned Burns and Asthma
    Asthma, Anxiety and Depression

5. Key Journals

Useful for keeping up to date with research and finding out more on specific topics

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for your time reading these journals in Category 5 (1 credit/hr). Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice 
    This journal covers the full range of diseases relating to allergy and immunology, with authoritative reviews more aligned to the practicing specialist, as well as the latest recommendations for diagnosis and treatment.   

  • The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 
    The Lancet Respiratory Medicine provides comprehensive, clinically-focused research covering all areas of respiratory medicine and critical care. 

  • American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
    This journal covers the pathophysiology and treatment of diseases that affect the respiratory system. The journal includes works from the field of critical care medicine.

  • Chest Journal
    Chest is a peer-reviewed journal which provides research on chest diseases and related issues. It is the official journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. 

  • Thoracic 
    This journal specialises in clinical and experimental research articles on respiratory medicine. It also covers paediatrics, immunology, pharmacology, pathology and surgery. 

  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Articles in this authoritative research journal cover topics on asthma, various allergic and immunologic diseases and primary immune deficiencies.  The main target audience is allergists, immunologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, and other physicians and researchers interested in allergic diseases and clinical immunology. 

  • European Respiratory Journal
    This monthly peer-reviewed journal from the European Respiratory Society aims to publish high quality scientific and clinical material in the respiratory field. The journal also publishes a monthly podcast where The Chief Editor invites a guest to discuss the content of one or more articles. 

  • Respirology
    This journal, from the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, publishes articles on laboratory and clinical research relevant to respiratory biology and disease. Topics included are on cell and molecular biology; epidemiology; immunology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; intensive and critical care; paediatric respiratory medicine; bronchoscopy; interventional pulmonology and thoracic surgery. 

  • Thorax
    Thorax is an official journal of the British Thoracic Society. Its focus is pulmonary medicine. Topics included are COPD, asthma, smoking, respiratory infection and lung cancer. 

6. Recommended Reading

Useful for keeping up to date with research and finding out more on specific topics

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for your time spent on these readings in Category 5 (1 credit/hr). Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

  • The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) ​​offers a range of publications and statistics on the state of Asthma in Australia.

  • Asthma in Australia 2011
    This report describes the current status of asthma in Australia, through data from an extensive range of sources. It highlights a number of key messages and includes a focus chapter on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its relationship to asthma.

  • NSW Health Policy Directive - Infants and Children
    This policy provides direction to clinicians on acute management of asthma, in order to achieve the best possible paediatric care in all parts of NSW.

  • Australian Asthma Handbook
    This handbook, published by the National Asthma Council Australia, provides best-practice evidence-based guidance translated into practical advice for primary care health professionals – fee paying resource.

  • Monitoring Asthma in Pregnancy - A discussion paper
    This report aims to describe a rationale, and develop an approach, for monitoring asthma in pregnancy. It also describes data sources for use within a monitoring approach, as well as outlining options for further data development.

  • Asthma and Pregnancy
    This South Australian state-wide guideline promotes and facilitates standardisation and consistency of practice in treating asthma during pregnancy.

  • Refining National Asthma Indicators - Delphi Survey and Correlation Analysis
    This report was done as part of a review by the Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring (ACAM), which focused on refining and simplifying Australia’s national asthma data monitoring system.

  • Asthma Mortality in Australia in the 21st Century: A Case Series Analysis
    This study investigated the reasons for asthma deaths in Australia between 2005 - 2009, in order to govern future asthma interventions. 

  • Occupational Asthma in Australia
    This bulletin looks at the different types, factors and risks of occupational asthma in Australia.

  • The Global Atlas of Asthma
    This atlas, produced by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), is a reference source for multi-sectoral use, covering all aspects of asthma, from epidemiology, risk factors and mechanisms, to major current problems in asthma, associated diseases, prevention and control.

  • An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report: Obesity and Asthma
    The purpose of this US study was to review the current understanding of the impact of obesity on pulmonary health as it relates to asthma. 

  • Global Initiative for Asthma​
    New information about asthma has been captured in this 201​7 update of the Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention, based on a review of scientific literature by the GINA Science Committee.

  • Vaccination Uptake Among People with Chronic Respiratory Disease​ ​​
    This report provides a review on the uptake of influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations among people with obstructive airways disease. It presents a range of options for interventions to improve data for monitoring vaccination uptake, impact among people with asthma and COPD, and vaccine-related adverse events. 

  • BTS/SIGN British Guideline on the Management of Asthma 2014​
    The British Thoracic Society (BTS) and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) produced this comprehensive asthma guideline, released in 2014. The guideline should serve as a basis for high quality management of both acute and chronic asthma, as well as a stimulus for asthma management research. 

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We thank Dr Simon Bowler, Professor John Kolbe and Professor Ron Walls for their contributions to t​his page.

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