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Published: 16 April 2020

Authors: Christina Baggott, Helen K. Reddel, Jo Hardy, Jenny Sparks, Mark Holliday, Andrew Corin, Barney Montgomery, Jim Reid, Davitt Sheahan, Robert J. Hancox, Mark Weatherall, Richard Beasley, James Fingleton

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 176


Symptom-driven low-dose inhaled corticosteroid–formoterol is safe and effective in mild asthma and has been recommended as one of the preferred treatment regimens at steps 1 and 2 in the 2019 update of the Global Initiative for Asthma. However, there are no data on patient preferences for this regimen.

A subgroup of participants in the PRACTICAL study (ACTRN12616000377437), a randomised controlled trial comparing symptom-driven budesonide–formoterol with maintenance budesonide plus as-needed terbutaline completed a survey on treatment preferences, satisfaction, beliefs and experience at their final study visit.

306 (75%) out of 407 eligible participants completed the survey. Regimen preference was strongly associated with randomised treatment, as were preferences for and beliefs about preventer inhaler use. Combination preventer and reliever as-needed therapy was preferred by 135 (90%, 95% CI 85.2–94.8%) out of 150 who were randomised to as-needed budesonide–formoterol, and by 63 (40%, 95% CI 32.7–48.1%) out of 156 who were randomised to maintenance budesonide. By contrast, twice-daily preventer inhaler with a reliever inhaler as required was preferred by 15 (10%) out of 150 of those randomised to as-needed budesonide–formoterol and 93 (60%) out of 156 of those randomised to maintenance budesonide. Satisfaction with all study inhalers was high. Of patients randomised to as-needed budesonide–formoterol 92% (n=138) were confident using it as a reliever at the end of the study.

Although most participants preferred the regimen to which they had been randomised, this association was much stronger for those randomised to budesonide–formoterol as needed, indicating that most patients preferred as-needed corticosteroid–formoterol therapy if they had experienced it.

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