Feature Article

Current issues in childhood asthma. Part 1: diagnosis and management

Alan F Isles, Claire Wainwright, Elizabeth Banks, Nicholas J Freezer, Craig Mellis, Colin F Robertson, Peter D Sly



This two-part article will assist GPs in their role of managing most children with asthma: here, Part 1 outlines current concepts. Next month, Part 2 will present common questions and answers about asthma management in childhood.

Key Points

  • Most children with asthma can be managed by their GP.
  • Accurate diagnosis is essential – persistent wheezing or coughing in childhood are not always due to asthma.
  • An agreed management plan for both prevention and acute attacks is essential – including an age appropriate delivery device.
  • Specialist referral is indicated when the diagnosis is in doubt or reasonable treatment is ineffective.