BTS/SIGN asthma guidance updated for 2014

The latest edition of the BTS/SIGN guideline on the management of asthma is now available.

The BTS/SIGN asthma guideline will now be updated on a biennial basis. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The 2014 revision of the guideline sees updating of multiple sections identified as priority areas by the guideline development group, based on new evidence relating to specific key questions.

The new edition includes completely re-written sections on supported self management (section 4) and organisation and delivery of care (section 13), and an extensively revised section on non-pharmacological management. All other sections, with the exception of diagnosis and monitoring (section 3) and asthma in adolescents (section 10), have also been revised and updated to reflect new evidence that has become available.

In addition, the structure of the guideline has changed, with a new section highlighting key recommendations for implementation (see section 2); the original section 7 on special situations split into four separate sections covering difficult asthma, asthma in adolescents, asthma in pregnancy and occupational asthma; and the revised section 4 on supported self management moved to the beginning of the guideline.

Also new for 2014 is the replacement of the term 'asthma exacerbation' with the term 'asthma attack', which the guideline development group believes is more understandable and gives a clearer indication of the need for action.

An updated quick-reference MIMS summary of the stepwise asthma management pathway from the guideline can be found online and will be included in the forthcoming December print issue of MIMS.

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