Send to

Choose Destination
Can Respir J. 2011 Mar-Apr;18(2):90-6.

Barriers to the recognition and reporting of occupational asthma by Canadian pulmonologists.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.



Occupational asthma is a common, but probably under-recognized problem.


To identify the factors that suggest work-related asthma when a pulmonologist encounters an adult patient with new-onset asthma, and to identify the barriers to recognizing and reporting such cases.


A postal questionnaire was sent to all pulmonologists in Canada. The questionnaire asked participants to respond to several questions about recognizing, diagnosing and reporting occupational asthma. Answers were scored using visual analogue scales.


A total of 201 eligible responses were received from 458 pulmonologists. Pulmonologists identified that the most important factor in initially considering the role of work in occupational asthma was having seen others affected at the same workplace, or exposed to the same agent. Important perceived barriers to considering a diagnosis of occupational asthma were physicians' low awareness, lack of knowledge and time. The most important barriers to reporting cases were the pulmonologists' perceived patient concerns regarding job security and income. Quebec pulmonologists generally perceived barriers to recognizing and reporting occupational asthma to be less important, and believed that the use of specific inhalation challenge was more important in considering a diagnosis.


Pulmonologists most readily recognized occupational asthma caused by a substance or process that they previously encountered as a possible cause of asthma. Time constraints and knowledge may hamper their ability to recognize occupational asthma. Concerns regarding the effect of the diagnosis on the patient's job and income may discourage reporting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Hindawi Publishing Corporation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center