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Aust J Rural Health. 2009 Aug;17(4):195-200. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2009.01071.x.

Asthma management in rural New South Wales: perceptions of health care professionals and people with asthma.

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University of Sydney, Building A15 Science Rd, University of Sydney New South Wales 2006, Australia.



To investigate the perceptions and attitudes towards asthma management of general practitioners, pharmacists and people with asthma in a rural area.


Qualitative semistructured interviews.


Small rural centre in New South Wales.


General practitioners, pharmacists and people with asthma in a rural area.


General practitioners perceived that the patient provided a barrier to the implementation of optimal asthma services. They were aware that other health care professionals had a role in asthma management but were not aware of the details, particularly in relation to that of the pharmacist and would like to improve communication methods. Pharmacists also perceived the patient to be a barrier to the delivery of optimal asthma management services and would like to improve communication with the general practitioner. The impact of the rural environment for the health care professionals included workforce shortages, availability of support services and access to continuing education. People with asthma were satisfied with their asthma management and the service provided by the health care professionals and described the involvement of family members and ambulance officers in their overall asthma management. The rural environment was an issue with regards to distance to the hospital during an emergency.


General practitioners and pharmacists confirmed their existing roles in asthma management while expressing a desire to improve communication between the two professions to help overcome barriers and optimise the asthma service delivered to the patient. The patient described minimal barriers to optimising asthma management, which might suggest that they might not have great expectations of asthma care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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