Asthma is a common condition that causes tightness in the chest, coughing and wheeze and makes it difficult to breath. Around 10.2% of the Australian population (approximately 2.3 million people) have asthma, it is a major health problem here in Australia and worldwide.

Asthma deaths and hospitalisations in Australia however are among the highest in the world, with 389 deaths and 37,700 hospitalisations from asthma in 2013-14. Management of asthma and health outcomes for people with mild to moderate disease have improved significantly over the last 3 decades, however severe asthma remains a major concern.   Individuals with severe asthma have increased with more disabling symptoms than those with mild and moderate disease. They also experience higher rates and more severe flare ups or attacks and worse overall disease burden.   These factors reduce quality of life and place a major burden on the health care system. Importantly,  symptoms often do not respond to standard asthma treatments and new approaches for disease management are urgently needed.  Severe asthma differs from mild to moderate asthma and these differences are not currently captured by asthma patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs).  PROMS are self-reported questionnaires that are completed by patients to measure symptoms, functional status, health-status and social and psychological wellbeing.   PROMs are extremely important for disease management because they measure overall health from the patient’s perspective, and to determine whether management approaches are successful at improving quality of life and health.

Hypothesis: That a new severe asthma-specific PROM will be a valuable measurement tool for severe asthma management, to identify and measure disease outcomes that are important for severe asthma.

Aims: To develop and test the validity and reliability of a tool that measures the illness burden of severe asthma, in terms of symptoms, comorbidity, exacerbations (asthma attacks), disease impact and health economics. Importantly, no patient reported outcome measures have been developed specifically for patients with severe asthma. This project will develop a PROM that can be used in clinical and research settings to assess the impact of severe asthma on patients’ lives. It will also provide a valid and reliable tool that can be used by clinicians and researchers to assess response to new treatments in severe asthma.

Project type 
Project Grant
Year of funding