Use of National Asthma Guidelines by Allergists and Pulmonologists: A National Survey

Michelle M. Cloutier, Lara J. Akinbami, Paivi M. Salo, Michael Schatz, Tregony Simoneau, Jesse C. Wilkerson, Gregory Diette, Kurtis S. Elward, Anne Fuhlbrigge, Jacek M. Mazurek, Lydia Feinstein, Sonja Williams, Darryl C. Zeldin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about specialist-specific variations in guideline agreement and adoption. Objective: To assess similarities and differences between allergists and pulmonologists in adherence to cornerstone components of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program's Third Expert Panel Report. Methods: Self-reported guideline agreement, self-efficacy, and adherence were assessed in allergists (n = 134) and pulmonologists (n = 99) in the 2012 National Asthma Survey of Physicians. Multivariate models were used to assess if physician and practice characteristics explained bivariate associations between specialty and “almost always” adhering to recommendations (ie, ≥75% of the time). Results: Allergists and pulmonologists reported high guideline self-efficacy and moderate guideline agreement. Both groups “almost always” assessed asthma control (66.2%, standard error [SE] 4.3), assessed school/work asthma triggers (71.3%, SE, 3.9), and endorsed inhaled corticosteroids use (95.5%, SE 2.0). Repeated assessment of the inhaler technique, use of asthma action/treatment plans, and spirometry were lower (39.7%, SE 4.0; 30.6%, SE 3.6; 44.7%, SE 4.1, respectively). Compared with pulmonologists, more allergists almost always performed spirometry (56.6% vs 38.6%, P =.06), asked about nighttime awakening (91.9% vs 76.5%, P =.03) and emergency department visits (92.2% vs 76.5%, P =.03), assessed home triggers (70.5% vs 52.6%, P =.06), and performed allergy testing (61.8% vs 21.3%, P <.001). In multivariate analyses, practice-specific characteristics explained differences except for allergy testing. Conclusions: Overall, allergists and pulmonologists adhere to the asthma guidelines with notable exceptions, including asthma action plan use and inhaler technique assessment. Recommendations with low implementation offer opportunities for further exploration and could serve as targets for increasing guideline uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3011-3020.e2
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Agreement
  • Asthma treatment plan
  • Inhaler technique
  • Self-efficacy
  • Spirometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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