Assessment and treatment of asthma in adults and childrenPublet Introduction:
The BTS/SIGN guideline on which this publet is based now carries the caution that it “is not intended to be construed or to serve as a standard of care. Standards of care are determined on the basis of all clinical data available for an individual case and are subject to change as scientific knowledge and technology advance and patterns of care evolve. Adherence to guideline recommendations will not ensure a successful outcome in every case, nor should they be construed as including all proper methods of care or excluding other acceptable methods of care aimed at the same results. The ultimate judgement must be made by the appropriate healthcare professional(s) responsible for clinical decisions regarding a particular clinical procedure or treatment plan. This judgement should only be arrived at following discussion of the options with the patient, covering the diagnostic and treatment choices available. It is advised, however, that significant departures from the national guideline or any local guidelines derived from it should be fully documented in the patient’s case notes at the time the relevant decision is taken”.
In 1999 the British Thoracic Society (BTS) and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) agreed to jointly produce a comprehensive new asthma guideline, both having previously published guidance on asthma. The original BTS guideline dated back to 1990 and the SIGN guidelines to 1996. Both organisations recognised the need to develop the new guideline using explicitly evidence based methodology. The joint process was further strengthened by collaboration with Asthma UK, the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the General Practice Airways Group (now Primary Care Respiratory Society UK), and the British Association of Accident and Emergency Medicine (now the College of Emergency Medicine). The outcome of these efforts was the British Guideline on the Management of Asthma published in 2003.