A survey was launched by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) via e-mail, website and social media to EAACI members and members of peer societies.
The survey was completed by 339 healthcare professionals from 52 countries. 79% of follow-up consultations were replaced by phone calls, whereas 49% of newly referred patients attended the clinic. 62%, 76%, 66%, 76% and 87% of responders did not conduct spirometry, impulse oscillometry, bronchodilator test, FeNO or methacholine provocation, respectively, for asthma diagnosis in adults. The numbers were similar for children. 73% of responders based the initial asthma diagnosis andthe prescription of inhaled therapy on clinical parameters only. Lung function tests were used in 29% of cases to monitor asthma worsening and only 56% of participantsrecommendedto their patients ambulatory peak expiratory flow (PEF) measurements. Using a 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much) scale, the responders considered that the quality of health care provided and the patients’ asthma status had deteriorated during the lockdown with 3.2 points and 2.8 points, respectively.
Collectively, these results suggest that all necessary resources should be allocated to ensure the performance of lung function tests for initial diagnosis, whereas digital remote monitoring should be reinforced for the follow-up of children and adults with asthma.
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