"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:
Key organisations & websites
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.
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1. Key Organisations & Websites
Useful as a starting point and overview of current work in this
The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
Each Specialty Society website provides comprehensive resources and publications. They also include links to research, policies, events, professional development and membership.
This website provides a wide range of tools, reports and education programs for the identification, prevention and management of asthma. It also offers awareness videos.
National Asthma Council Australia
This website includes comprehensive resources on asthma management, prevention and programs and other asthma-related information for health professionals, patients and families.
Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring (ACAM)
This centre develops, collates and interprets data on the prevention and management of chronic airways diseases. ACAM aims to reduce the burden of airways disease in Australia.
Asthma + Respiratory Foundation New Zealand
The website has a range of resources, including management plans to assist both health professionals and patients of respiratory conditions.
The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
This website provides information and resources on asthma management and other asthma-related information.
WAO – World Allergy Organisation
WAO gives a global perspective on asthma research, standards and care. It also offers on-line educational programs.
The Global Asthma Network
This network focuses on low and middle-income countries, and aims to improve asthma care worldwide. It does this via enhanced surveillance, research collaboration, and access to quality-assured essential medicines. Its publication the Global Asthma Report 2014 includes recommendations and information for governments, health professionals and health organisations.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)
This website provides comprehensive information and useful tools on allergy, asthma and immunology to support health professionals, their patients and families.
The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)
The GINA website provides an extensive range of resources and documents to support health care professionals and public health officials around the globe reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality.
Useful for brief overviews of topics and recent developments
Connecting Asthma Care
This is a recording of various presentations at the 2015 Australasian Asthma Conference sponsored by Asthma Australia.
This series from Asthma Australia is on asthma research, risks, prevention and treatment. Of particular interest are:
Severe asthma - Professor Jo Douglass
The Impact of Bacteria and Viruses on Asthma - Dr Nathan Bartlett
Changes in Asthma Management Guidelines - Professor Peter Wark
Rural Health Education Foundation - Breathlessness in the Older Adult: Is It Asthma?
This program covers the differential diagnosis and management of asthma in older adults with breathlessness, with interrelated discussion of COPD.
The Partners Asthma Center presents a series of Asthma Grand Rounds Videostreamed lectures, which focuses on various aspects of asthma. This US-based asthma centre provides resources for patients and healthcare providers, research, and asthma management services.
Allergy, Asthma and Microbes: The Hygiene Hypothesis
Dr Homer Boushey explores the hygiene hypothesis, the notion that modern cleanliness causes a lack of stimulation of the immune system in early development, making children more vulnerable to factors that cause asthma.
Asthma Pathogenesis - Dr Lanny Rosenwasser discusses the basic underlying causes of asthma including genetic and environmental causes.
Asthma: Advancing Guidelines and Action Plans - University of Wisconsin
In this video, Dr M. H. Moss covers some USA guidelines, action plans, therapies and treatments for Asthma.
Using Phenotypes to Evaluate and Manage Asthma
Physician researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute at UPMC present their research on the use of molecular and genetic information to identify asthma phenotypes and customize therapies in order to improve patient outcomes.
University of Oxford presents some of the current research in asthma prevention and treatment:
Asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
This variety of short videos could be useful for patient's or trainee's education:
Exercise induced asthma - BMJ
What happens during an asthma attack? - Asthma Australia
Living with Asthma - Seattle Children's Hospital
Useful for in depth, structured learning
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.
Useful for implementing what you have learned in your daily practice
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
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 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.
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.
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 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
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 2017 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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