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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2001 Aug;32(2):109-14.

How pediatricians manage asthma in Thailand.

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  • 1Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Currently, there is no existing information regarding prescribing practices for the management of childhood asthma among pediatricians in Thailand. In order to evaluate the management standards for childhood asthma in Thailand, 400 self-administered questionnaires were randomly mailed to nonacademic pediatricians throughout Thailand, asking questions about their preferences in the treatment of childhood asthma. One hundred and seventy-four of these 400 questionnaires were returned (a response rate of 43.5%). Data were analyzed using the descriptive module of the Epi-info 6 program. For acute asthma, 17% of the respondents used objective measures such as peak flow meters in assessing asthma severity and severity of acute asthma attacks. The drug of first choice for treating acute attacks was a nebulized beta-agonist q 20 min (81.8%). Although 93% indicated that they had used theophylline for treating acute attacks, most would reserve the drug for patients with severe symptoms. Corticosteroids were reserved for those with severe attacks (91.7% both for clinic and for in-hospital settings). Hydrocortisone was the most preferred corticosteroid preparation (59.8%). Ninety-seven percent used antibiotics in treating acute asthma, but only with appropriate indications. For chronic asthma, a strong preference was observed for oral beta-agonists as the bronchodilator of choice (88%). For moderately severe asthmatics, theophylline was still preferred by 41% of the responders. Among prophylactic agents, ketotifen was the most favored drug (90.4%), whereas inhaled steroids and cromolyn were chosen by 9.6% and 2.4%, respectively. Eighty-five percent indicated that they would prescribe prophylactic agents for 1 year or less. Forty-two percent never considered allergy evaluation as a part of a workup for childhood asthma. Certain prescribing practices of childhood asthma management in Thailand were observed among pediatricians, i.e., 1) low frequency of using objective measures in assessing asthma severity among pediatricians; 2) frequent use of theophylline and antibiotics in the treatment of acute asthma; 3) late introduction of corticosteroids in treating acute asthma; 4) preference for oral bronchodilators; and 5) preference of ketotifen as the prophylactic drug of choice. This survey provides baseline data and will aid in the evaluation of management guidelines for childhood asthma in Thailand.

Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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