Asthma education in the spotlight

  • 3d image of lungs and spirometry image

Photos: scientificanimations.com & CC by SA 4.0 and Jmarchn CC by SA 3.0

By
National Asthma Council Australia
Marg Gordon, Asthma and Respiratory Educator
Issue
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When respiratory illnesses circulate, good asthma control is more important than ever.

While it isn’t yet known exactly how COVID-19 affects people with asthma, experience from other acute viral infections suggests they may be at more risk if they contract the disease.

During the pandemic, it’s crucial for health professionals to continue helping those in the community with asthma achieve optimal control.

To help health professionals manage asthma while COVID-19 spreads, the National Asthma Council Australia developed information in the Australian Asthma Handbook, including recommendations for performing spirometry, discouraging the use of nebulisers, and information about continued treatment with inhaled corticosteroids.

Health professionals are encouraged to check the guidelines regularly, as advice may change as more evidence emerges.

This crisis highlights the importance of asthma management fundamentals, such as correct inhaler technique, adhering to preventer medication, and using an up-to-date written asthma action plan.  

With asthma affecting about one in nine Australians, it’s always important for health professionals to stay up to date on the national treatment guidelines, published  in the Australian Asthma Handbook.

The National Asthma Council has a well-established education program to communicate the guidelines and best-practice asthma management to those working in primary care around the country.

The program typically operates through face-to-face workshops. With this popular model no longer possible during the pandemic, we’ve developed new options to ensure this important work can continue.

We’ve created a new webinar series to meet the ongoing demand for training. Sessions cover four essential areas: an update on asthma management in 2020, medications and devices, paediatric and adult asthma. The one-hour webinars are recognised by the RACGP and ACRRM as CPD activities.

In addition, we continue to explore new options for delivering education remotely with other organisations.

Visit nationalasthma.org.au to find out more about the National Asthma Council Australia’s health professional education program.

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