Asthma is a chronic disease that continues to be an important public health problem. While there
have been published guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of asthma, the real medical practice varies
among different healthcare providers.
Aim: To describe the asthma care modalities among asthma specialists in Lebanon.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included a survey of demographic characteristics of asthma specialists, parameters of asthma
diagnosis, follow-up, treatment, patient education, use of asthma guidelines, and involvement in continuous medical education.
Results: A total of 100 registered asthma specialists in Lebanon who attended the 2013 annual meeting of Lebanese Pulmonary
Society (LPS) were approached. Seventy-five questionnaires were returned achieving a response rate of 75%. Seventy
participants (50 males and 20 females) filled out the questionnaire. The average age was 43 ±8.5years. 33% of the specialists
reported seeing 10-20 asthmatic patients weekly. Spirometry was used by 81.4% of respondents on newly diagnosed patients
while 36% used peak flow monitoring. Most of the specialists (91%) asked about cough and wheezing, 22% monitored
spirometry during follow-up visits. The rate of different medications reported to be "often" used for moderate asthma were: 94%
for inhaled steroids, 61% for long-acting beta-agonists (LABA). About 88% of respondents indicated that they were aware of
asthma practice guidelines. Moreover, 93% of specialists attended continuous medical education on asthma in the past year.
Conclusion: This survey showed deficiencies in asthma care in line with international guidelines (GINA and NAEPP) among
asthma specialists in Lebanon. However, their practice was comparable to their peers in Chicago in regard of diagnostic tools