Mapping the Asthma Care Process: Implications for Research and Practice

Alexandra Leila Dima, Marijn de Bruin, Eric Van Ganse, ASTRO-LAB group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Whether people with asthma gain and maintain control over their condition depends not only on the availability of effective drugs, but also on multiple patient and health care professional (HCP) behaviors. Research in asthma rarely considers how these behaviors interact with each other and drug effectiveness to determine health outcomes, which may limit real-life applicability of findings.
Objective: To develop a logic process model (Asthma Care Model; ACM) that explains how patient and HCP behaviors impact on the asthma care process.
Methods: Within a European research project on asthma (ASTRO-LAB), we reviewed asthma care guidelines and empirical literature, and conducted qualitative interviews with patients and HCPs. Findings were discussed with the Project team and respiratory care experts and integrated in a causal model.
Results: The model outlines a causal sequence of treatment events, from diagnosis and assessment to treatment prescription, drug exposure, and health outcomes. The relationships between these components are moderated by patient behaviors (medication adherence, symptom monitoring, managing triggers and exacerbations) and HCP behaviors (medical care and self-management support). Modifiable and non-modifiable behavioral determinants influence the behaviors of patients and HCPs. The model is dynamic as it includes feedback loops of behavioral and clinical outcomes, which influence future patient and HCP decision making. Key evidence for each relationship is summarized, to derive research priorities and clinical recommendations.
Conclusion: The ACM model is of interest to both researchers and practitioners, and intended as a first version (ACM-v1) of a common framework for generating and translating research evidence in asthma care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-876
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number5
Early online date7 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the participants to the Respiratory Effectiveness Group Adherence symposium for their comments on the model overview presented during this meeting, members of the ASTRO-LAB consortium for collaborative work on reviewing literature and performing qualitative interviews, and patients and clinicians that shared valuable insights into asthma management during the telephone interviews.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's 7th Framework (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 282593.


  • asthma
  • medication adherence
  • management
  • therapeutic education
  • behavioral care
  • evidence-based care


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