Dutch Lung Congress
"Can do" versus "do do" in patients with asthma at first referral to a pulmonologist
Background Pharmacotherapy is key in asthma control, including preventing lung function decline, in primary care. However, patients’ physical functioning (e.g., physical capacity, PC (=can do) and physical activity, PA (=do do)) correlates poorly with lung function. Therefore, a better insight in the physical function of patients with asthma is needed, using the “can do, do do” concept. Objective To explore the “can do, do do” concept in adult asthma patients at referral for the first time to an outpatient consultation of a pulmonologist. Methods PC was measured using the six-minute walk test (6MWT). PA by using an accelerometer. Patients were classified into quadrants: low PC (6MWD <70% predicted), low PA (<7000 steps/day, "can't do, don't do"); preserved PC, low PA ("can do, don't do”); low PC, preserved PA ("can't do, do do"); or preserved PC, preserved PA ("can do, do do"). Results 479 asthma patients had a median (IQR) 6MWD of 74 (66–82) % predicted, and walked 6829 (4593–9075) steps/day. Only 29% was classified as "can do, do do", while 30% was classified as “can’t do, don’t do”. The Asthma Control Questionnaire and the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire were worst in the “can’t do” groups. Conclusion Low PC and/or PA was found in a majority of asthma patients at the index referral to a pulmonologist. An impaired PC is accompanied by a significantly reduced asthma control and disease-specific quality of life. This justifies further studies on safety and efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions, such as physiotherapy.