Have we got the right focus in asthma care in general practice? A qualitative study

Maithri Rupasinghe, Jennifer Reath, Biljana Cvetkovski, Sheree Smith, Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich, Vicky Kritikos, Penelope Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objective: Asthma presentations are common in general practice, but opportunities to control asthma are often missed. The aim of this study was to explore how general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) deliver asthma care, with particular attention to perceived roles and challenges, and ways to improve management.

Methods: Using a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs and PNs working in an area of cultural diversity and socioeconomic disadvantage in western Sydney. Inductive thematic analysis was undertaken.

Results: Nineteen interviews were conducted, with nine GPs and 10 PNs. The main focus of asthma care was on acute presentations, with less emphasis on follow-up and preventive care and underuse of general practice chronic disease models of care. PN roles were generally limited to acute asthma assessment and triage. GPs did not commonly use spirometry or access non-GP specialist input.

Discussion: Asthma care in general practice may be improved by a greater focus on prevention and control, including through follow-up after acute presentations, enhanced collaboration between GPs and PNs, and supportive practice models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-415
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma/diagnosis
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • General Practice
  • General Practitioners
  • Humans
  • Qualitative Research


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