This is an excerpt of a blog published on Evidently Cochrane.
In this blog for respiratory healthcare professionals, Asthma UK’s in-house GP Dr Andy Whittamore explores how encouraging patients to talk about their love lives could result in better asthma self-care and flags the need for more ‘people-shaped’ research.
We know that 5.4 million people in the UK have asthma, and that non-adherence to prescribed treatment is a common problem among these patients – preventing them from getting the most from their medicines and increasing their risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack. In fact, research shows less than 50% of people with asthma (both adults and children) don’t achieve full adherence when using Inhaled Corticosteriods (ICS), while nearly 33% never take their prescribed medicines.
Putting it bluntly, regardless of how much you tell your asthma patients to take their medicines as prescribed, many won’t. This signals the need for a radically different approach, one that involves touching on the sensitive personal matters that could be the key to helping people take their asthma – and their medicines – more seriously. Thinking bigger, what if engaging in these conversations could open neglected research avenues that could be delaying the discovery of better treatments, and ultimately, a cure?