Severe asthma not only burdens the affected individuals but the healthcare system is also being impacted. While severe asthma represents a small subset of 5 – 10% of patients, it accounts for up to 50% of the direct costs of asthma and a comparable proportion of indirect costs.

In December 2017, the first-ever Canadian Guidelines on Severe Asthma was published. “Recognition and management of severe asthma: A Canadian Thoracic Society contains a position statement with three objectives in developing their recommendations:

  1. Outline a practical approach to distinguish uncontrolled asthma due to inadequate asthma management from severe asthma despite optimal asthma management
  2. Provide clinical guidance for characterizing individuals with severe asthma and considering a phenotype-specific management
  3. Review “novel new potential therapeutic approaches” for managing severe asthma

What does this mean for clinicians?

These recommendations provide a step-by-step process to distinguish Severe Asthma from uncontrolled Asthma. It also demonstrates a need to better understand asthma pathophysiology, as there is an increase in biomarkers available. Many of these biomarkers provide the ability to predict therapeutic response. And finally, the use of phenotyping to determine use of novel biologic therapies for severs asthma.

As with any new guidelines, clinical adoption is the key to success. Adoption can include various educational formats that support knowledge translation and behaviour change.

We’ve developed educational platforms to do just that. We have expert facilitators and medical peers who guide “Campus”, a program that addresses the fast-changing environment of continuing professional development and education for health care practitioners.

Learn more about Campus and our educational platforms.