Written PAAPs are crucial components of effective self-management education.
The patient’s PAAP is based on patient’s perceived symptoms control, and PEF measurement. It’s important that you use the patient’s best PEF rather than percent predicted PEF. As a general rule, if the PEF drops to 80% of best the patient needs to keep closer eye on their asthma. If their PEF drops to 60% of their best, they might need to take oral steroids. If their PEF drops to 40% of best they need to seek immediate medical advice.
Despite recommendations from the BTS/SIGN asthma guidelines, only 25% of patients with asthma have asthma action plans. These PAAPs provide the patient with specific advice about recognising loss of disease control, and actions to take if asthma deteriorates.
Supported self-management is really crucial for effective disease management; the patient needs to take responsibility for their disease and feel confident to manage their own asthma. The patient needs to understand very clearly what to do, and who to contact.