To define optimal asthma comtrol.
To describe the strengths and weaknesses of objective and subjective measures of asthma control.
To suggest the best tool for assessing asthma control.
Summary Recent guidelines have advocated a change in approach to asthma management, with a focus on control rather than severity. However, the concept of asthma control has different meanings to healthcare professionals, patients, regulators and health insurers. Consequently, there is a range of measures of control. Traditional measures of lung function are an important indicator of severity, but are insufficient as an index of asthma control. Similarly, levels of inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness have their advantages and limitations as measures of asthma control. From a more subjective point of view, tools such as asthma questionnaires can provide a valuable insight into patients' perception of their condition. It therefore seems sensible to propose that indices of asthma control be sought that combine the benefits of the above approaches in a way that allows a satisfactory classification of asthma control.
- ©ERS 2008