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New adult asthma guidelines launched after 15 years

7 November 2016

New adult asthma guidelines launched after 15 years

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ is proud to announce the new Adult Asthma Guidelines will be launched on Friday 25 November 2016 at the New Zealand Respiratory Conference in Auckland.

The guidelines are designed to aid health professionals in delivering asthma care in the community and in emergency departments, providing simple, practical and evidence-based guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma in adults.

The guide has been developed by a multidisciplinary group of respiratory health experts under the leadership of Professor Richard Beasley and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand.

Professor Beasley believes the project is a great accomplishment, saying “as with previous New Zealand and international asthma guidelines, many of the key features are based on landmark research undertaken in New Zealand, which has led to improvements in the management of asthma worldwide."

Prior to this project, New Zealand’s asthma guidelines had not been updated since 2002 leaving both healthcare professionals and patients in the dark of developments from the last 15 years. The new guidelines align the latest research with specific information for the New Zealand context including available medications and relevant content for treating Māori and Pacific adults with asthma. This content will also be used for asthma action plans for patients, as well as training courses and tools for health professionals.

Jim Reid, a General Practitioner and Deputy Dean at Dunedin School of Medicine says if health professionals follow the guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of asthma, they will see optimum outcomes for patients. “Implementing the guide nationwide will mean all asthma patients receive the same level of care and up-to-date information.”

Betty Poot, Nurse Practitioner for Hutt Valley DHB says the information on medication is just one important factor of providing adequate care, and that “the strength of these guidelines is that they emphasise and address contributing factors such as inhaler technique, smoking, and exercise and highlight the importance of self-management plans and more.”

Over 460,000 people take medication for asthma in New Zealand, including one in nine adults. Māori are 2.9 times and Pacific peoples 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalised than other New Zealanders.

The guide has been peer reviewed by a number of key health professional bodies and will be available for download on


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