Perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of short-acting beta 2 agonist users: an Australian cross-sectional community pharmacy-based study

Elizabeth Azzi* (Corresponding Author), Vicky Kritikos, Matthew Peters, David Price, Biljana Cvetkovski, Pamela Srour Alphonse, Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: High use of short-acting beta-2-agonist (SABA) medication is a significant problem. Attitudes and perceptions towards asthma of over-the-counter (OTC) reliever users are unknown. The study aimed to describe the asthma attitudes, perceptions, medication knowledge and information gathering behaviour of people with asthma with recent high SABA use (i.e. SABA use ≧ twice a week within the last 4 weeks) and compare them to people with asthma with no recent high SABA use. Method: A real-world cross-sectional observational study in Australian community pharmacies was conducted; surveying patients ages ≥16 years requesting SABA medication OTC. Data collected included; demographics, medication usage, asthma control, asthma-related perceptions and behaviours. Data were summarized by using descriptive analyses. Results: 375 people completed the survey, 73.9% were high SABA users. Of the 375, 90.4% reported that their asthma symptoms were controlled or somewhat controlled and 56.0% felt that their asthma was not serious. However, only 17.6%, had controlled asthma according to GINA-defined criteria. High SABA users tended to be more anxious about their asthma and worried about its impact in the future (50.5% vs. 28.6%, p < 0.001). High SABA users were more likely to agree with the statements suggesting that asthma impacted on activities of daily living (46.6% vs. 16.3%, p < 0.001); were socially conscious about their asthma and more likely to feel embarrassed carrying (21.3% vs 9.2%, p = 0.007) and using (29.2% vs 18.4%, p = 0.036) their asthma inhaler. Conclusion: This study revealed the extent of uncontrolled asthma and uncovered an anxious and socially conscious group of OTC SABA users. There is a need to better understand patient perceptions and their relationships to high-SABA use, to ensure targeted educational interventions are developed and implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-188
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number1
Early online date3 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EAA, PS, BC declare no conflicts of interest at the time of this research. VK received honoraria from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. MJP reports personal fees and non-financial support from AstraZeneca, personal fees from GlaxoSmithKline and personal fees from Boehringer Ingelheim. DBP: a board membership with Aerocrine, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, Meda, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis and Teva Pharmaceuticals; consultancy agreements with Almirall, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, GlaxoSmithKline, Meda, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, Pfizer, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Theravance; grants and unrestricted funding for investigator-initiated studies (conducted through Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute) from UK National Health Service, British Lung Foundation, Aerocrine, AKL Research and Development, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, Meda, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, Pfizer, Respiratory Effectiveness Group, Takeda, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Zentiva and Theravance; payment for lectures/speaking engagements from Almirall, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, Cipla, GlaxoSmithKline, Kyorin, Meda, Merck, Mundipharma, Novartis, Pfizer, Skyepharma, Takeda and Teva Pharmaceuticals; payment for manuscript preparation from Mundipharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals; payment for the development of educational materials from Novartis and Mundipharma; payment for travel/accommodation/meeting expenses from Aerocrine, Boehringer Ingelheim, Mundipharma, Napp, Novartis, Teva Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca; funding for patient enrollment or completion of research from Chiesi, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Zentiva and Novartis; stock/stock options from AKL Research and Development, which produces phytopharmaceuticals; owns 74% of the social enterprise Optimum Patient Care, UK, and 74% of Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute, Singapore; and is peer reviewer for grant committees of the Medical Research Council, Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme and Health Technology Assessment. SBA: a member of the Teva Pharmaceuticals Devices International Key Experts Panel; received research support from Research in Real Life; payment for lectures/speaking engagements and for developing educational presentations from Teva and Mundipharma; received honoraria from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim and GlaxoSmithKline for her contribution to advisory boards/key international expert forum.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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