The Asthma Control Test is a validated patient self assessment tool of asthma control. Like the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) 3 Questions it is quick and easy to use. If appropriate patients can be asked to complete the questionnaire whilst sitting in the waiting room prior to their asthma review. The results of the self assessment can then be discussed during the review, enabling the review to be patient focused and meaningful.
The Asthma Control Test™ is a simple five-point questionnaire, which is self completed by patients. Each item is scored from one (poor control) to five (good control) and the scores added to give a final score with a maximum of 25.
The Asthma Control Test Five Questions are:
- During the past 4 weeks, how often did your asthma prevent you from getting as much done at work, school or home?
- During the past 4 weeks, how often have you had shortness of breath?
- During the past 4 weeks, how often did your asthma symptoms (wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath) wake you up at night or earlier than usual in the morning?
- During the past 4 weeks, how often have you used your reliever inhaler (usually blue)?
- How would you rate your asthma control during the past 4 weeks?
What you should do when a patient comes in with poor asthma control?
Before considering alteration of drug therapy the following should be considered:
- Is the diagnosis correct? (Is there objective evidence of asthma?)
- Are there any correctable trigger factors (including occupation)?
- Does the patient have allergic rhinitis? (Treatment of this may help asthma control)
- Is there patient compliance with the existing therapy?
- Is the patient able to use their inhaler properly?
Click here to see the Asthma Control Test™ online.