Methods: REALISE Asia was conducted in two-parts in the following countries: China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Part 1 was an online survey which involved 2,467 patients with asthma (aged 15-50 years, with access to social media). Part 2 was done through face-to-face and online interviews among 375 physicians involved in asthma patient-care.
Results: The disparity in the proportion of well-controlled asthma between patient-reported and physician-perceived ranged from 18% (Malaysia) to 44% (Hong Kong). A significantly higher proportion of physicians in Hong Kong (40%) reported that they do not use guidelines to assess asthma control (versus < 17% in other countries). Length of consultations ranged from 11.5 and 4.9 minutes for initial and follow-up in Korea, and 24.3 and 14.9 minutes in the Philippines, respectively. The percentage of patients who agreed they had full discussion with their physician about the best medication to treat their asthma ranged from ~60% (Korea) to over 80% (China, Indonesia, and Philippines). Almost 90% of physicians indicated they explain the purposes of inhalers on initial consultation, though this was significantly lower in China (62%). On average, 80% of physicians believed a combination (corticosteroid + long acting bronchodilator) inhaler can improve patient adherence, but this was significantly lower in Indonesia (53%). The proportion of patients who reported that they use controller inhaler daily ranged from 9% in Korea to 26% in Singapore. Only half of patients on inhalers said that their inhaler techniques were checked by a healthcare professional in the past 12 months, and this was lowest in Korea (42%) and Hong Kong (39%).
Conclusions: While variations among the countries in perceptions and management of asthma exist, there are common aspects of care that need to be optimised (e.g. adherence to controllers, inhaler techniques, patient education). Understanding these differences in the context of healthcare systems in these countries can provide additional insights which will be useful in the development of relevant interventions to improve asthma control.