Review of the management of childhood asthma in Tasmania


  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

Correspondence: Dr Bonnie J Bereznicki, School of Pharmacy, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 26, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia. Fax: +613 6226 2870; email:



To review the supply of medications to children with asthma and parent-reported management of childhood asthma in Tasmania and highlight evidence-practice gaps for future interventions.


Participating pharmacies ran a software application that extracted data from dispensing records and helped to identify children with asthma. Parents of identified children were mailed a survey evaluating components of asthma management. Dispensing and survey data were analysed.


A total of 939 children from 23 pharmacies were identified by the software and deemed eligible for inclusion. Surveys were received from 353 (37.6%) parents. In the past year, short-acting beta-2 agonists were supplied to 56.1% of the cohort, preventers to 76.5% (inhaled corticosteroids 52.3%; leukotriene receptor antagonists 31.3%; inhaled cromones 0.6%), long-acting beta-2 agonists (LABAs) to 25.7% and oral corticosteroids to 21.5%. Approximately half of the children receiving inhaled corticosteroids were concurrently receiving a LABA. Among children with indicators of inadequately controlled asthma, up to 73.7% of their parents reported that their asthma was adequately controlled, up to 38.2% did not possess an Asthma Action Plan, up to 36.8% were not regularly using a spacer and up to 22.8% had not received a preventer.


These results indicate gaps in childhood asthma management, in particular, undersupply of preventers in high-risk patient groups, high supply of LABAs and insufficient spacer and asthma action plan usage. These areas should be targeted for interventions to improve childhood asthma management.