Stepping down asthma treatment: perceptions of primary care staff

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Asthma management guidelines recommend an individualised approach, in which pharmacological treatment is reduced when appropriate to ensure the lowest effective dose of inhaled corticosteroid is being used. However, primary care practitioners do not always have the confidence to ‘step down’ their patients' asthma treatment. A qualitative study examined the perceptions and practices of primary care staff at Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, and the barriers they face, in relation to stepping down asthma treatment, and their responses were compared with those of more experienced and more specialised staff. This article reports on the study and its findings, concluding with recommendations to help primary care practitioners overcome their patients' and their own reluctance to reduce inhaled asthma medication doses.This article has been double-blind peer reviewedIn this article…Principles of asthma management in primary careRisks of high-dose inhaled corticosteroid treatmentPerceptions and practices in primary care around asthma treatment step down

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