Background/ Why Is This Important?
Pediatric asthma is the most common chronic disease affecting children, and it’s a leading cause of missed school days and hospital visits. As there is no known cure for asthma, the focus is on helping children and families control their asthma and improve their overall quality of life, as well as supporting healthcare providers with a coordinated approach and resources developed at a provincial level.
The asthma guidelines in BC have traditionally focused primarily on the adult population. Child Health BC (CHBC) and the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee (GPAC) collaborated on the development of a new provincial pediatric asthma guideline. The guideline identifies the care requirements for the pediatric population, including a specific new guideline for the diagnosis and management of children aged 1-5 years.
What Actions Have Already Been Taken?
Child Health BC coordinated an evidence review of national and international guidelines and an extensive literature review. A 16-member working group, chaired by BC Children’s Hospital respirologist Dr. Connie Yang and representing multiple regions and disciplines, reviewed evidence, provided feedback and actively participated in the development of the guideline.
Through the GPAC process, an external review of the guideline was completed by asthma providers across the province including physicians, asthma educators and specialists. This extensive external review not only evaluated the guideline but also identified barriers to implementation. This information was used to develop support tools to facilitate practice change.
Where Are We Now?
The guideline was approved by the Medical Services Commission in October 2015 and includes the following practitioner tools:
• An Asthma Patient Care Flow Sheet
• A summary of the Key Recommendations
• Patient Care Flow Sheets for Children aged <6 years and 6-18 years
• Asthma Action Plans for Children aged <6 year and 6-18 years
The resources – and the data gathering and planning that led to them – will support provincial services planning and an evidence-based standardized approach to the diagnosis and management of children with asthma. This promises to facilitate earlier and improved care for children and families, leading to better health outcomes.
- BC Guidelines: Asthma in Children – Diagnosis and Management
- Webinar with Drs. Connie Yang and Tiffany Wong at BC Children’s Hospital. Case studies highlight the new guideline and demonstrate how the tools and resources can support asthma management in the community.