GPAC guideline: Asthma in Children—Diagnosis and Management

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 58, No. 5, June 2016, Page 276 News

A new BC Guideline developed by Child Health BC in collaboration with the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee provides recommendations for diagnosis and management of asthma in patients aged 1 to 18 years presenting in a primary care setting. The guideline is available to physicians across British Columbia at and includes new action plans and flow sheets.

Key recommendations

  • Send children aged 6 years and older for spirometry when they are symptomatic to improve accuracy.
  • Send patients for spirometry regularly as part of the assessment of asthma control.
  • Prescribe controller medication daily and not intermittently.
  • Controller medication does not need to be increased with an acute loss of asthma control in children.
  • At each visit, assess for proper use of asthma medication devices and medication compliance as these are common reasons for poor asthma control.
  • Prescribe an age-appropriate spacer device for patients using metred dose inhalers (MDI).
  • Send all patients and families to an asthma education centre to learn self-management (where available).
  • Given that many children less than 6 years of age outgrow their asthma symptoms, reassess the persistence of symptoms every 6 months in this age group.
  • There is insufficient evidence to recommend one inhaled corticosteroids molecule over another with respect to efficacy or safety.
  • Ensure children have normal activity levels and do not limit physical activity to control asthma symptoms.
  • Complete a written asthma action plan with each patient and reassess this plan with the patient on a regular basis.

. GPAC guideline: Asthma in Children—Diagnosis and Management. BCMJ, Vol. 58, No. 5, June, 2016, Page(s) 276 - News.

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