Information paper

Asthma Adherence

In developing this practical guide the National Asthma Council (NAC) aims to assist those involved in asthma care to understand more about adherence and the factors affecting it, both as a patient issue and an asthma management issue. It has been written to complement the Asthma Management Handbook.

Health professionals need to gain a complete understanding of adherence and the multitude of factors that contribute to poor adherence, in order to be able to assess levels of adherence and implement strategies to improve patient self-management and health outcomes.


This information paper was prepared in consultation with the following health professionals:

  • Prof. Adrian Bauman, Professor of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Liverpool Hospital, NSW 
  • Dr Ron Borland, Deputy Director, Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, VIC 
  • Dr Chris Brown, general practitioner, QLD 
  • Dr Jill Cockburn, Head, Discipline of Behavioural Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, 
  • University of Newcastle, NSW 
  • Dr David Hill, Director, Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, VIC 
  • Assoc. Prof. Cynthia Rand, Associate Professor of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy 
  • Centre, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MA, USA 
  • Dr Colin Robertson, Deputy Director, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital, VIC 
  • Assoc. Prof. Susan Sawyer, Deputy Director, Centre for Adolescent Health, VIC 
  • Dr Kay Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, VIC 
  • Mr Brett Toelle, Research Officer, Institute of Respiratory Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW

We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Ms Felicity Finlayson and Ms Adrienne James of the Lung Health Promotion Centre at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne.

The Alfred's Asthma Education Profile Questionnaire, and the Behavior Change Protocol, are reproduced with permission.

We are grateful to Emeritus Professor Philip Ley for his encouragement and advice on adherence issues.

Recommended citation:

National Asthma Council Australia.
Asthma Adherence: A Guide for Health Professionals.
Melbourne: National Asthma Council Australia, 1999.


Although all care has been taken, this information paper is only a general guide; it is not a substitute for assessment of appropriate courses of treatment on a case-by-case basis. The National Asthma Council Australia expressly disclaims all responsibility (including negligence) for any loss, damage or personal injury resulting from reliance on the information contained.

© 1999

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