Compliance of physicians with documentation of an asthma management protocol

Sawsan Baddar*, Elizabeth A. Worthing, Omar A. Al-Rawas, Youssef Osman, Bazdawi M. Al-Riyami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Studies continue to show poor physician compliance with asthma management guidelines in clinical practice. H?wever, standardized protocols specifically designed to be practical and user-friendly improve patient outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To determine the degree of physicians' compliance with the documentation of an asthma management protocol in a university hospital. METHODS: A simple asthma management protocol was designed and applied in our pulmonary clinic and primary care clinic for asthma. The protocol was based on the 1998 Manual for the Management of Asthma, from the Oman Ministry of Health, which follows internationally recognized guidelines. The protocol consisted of 4 sections: clinical history, peak expiratory flow (PEF) data, medication section, and simplified asthma management guidelines. RESULTS: All 30 physicians scheduled to conduct asthma clinics in the pulmonary clinic (14 physicians) and the primary care clinic (16 physicians) agreed to use the protocol. A total of 282 protocol forms were collected: 130 forms from 6 senior physicians and 152 from 24 junior physicians. Documentation of the entire clinical history was 65%, with the senior physicians scoring significantly higher documentationcompletion rates (82%) for all components of the history than the junior physicians (50%). Documentation of all PEF data was poor (26%), despite high documentation of the PEF value itself (95%). There were significant differences in documentation of percent-of-predicted PEF between junior physicians in primary care clinic (70%) and other physicians (19%). Documentation of the entire medication section was only 34%. Although documentation of prescribed medicines was high (92%), compliance (48%) and inhaler technique (49%) documentation was low, with similar patterns demonstrated by all physicians. Documentation of the entire protocol by all physicians was low (9%), with junior physicians in the primary care clinic completing 28% of their forms. CONCLUSIONS: Our protocol enabled us to identify opportunities for improvement in documentation of asthma management in both the pulmonary and primary care clinics. The findings highlight the need for regular asthma education programs for all physicians, with a focus on documentation of performance skills such as monitoring of PEF and inhaler technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432-1440
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Care
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Asthma
  • Compliance
  • Guidelines
  • Inhaler technique
  • Management
  • Peak expiratory flow
  • Protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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