A patient’s engagement with self-management activities, alongside adherence with preventative medication and optimal inhaler technique, are major contributors to control in asthma. Lack of or sub-optimal adherence may be intentional or unintentional. Additional resources are also available in the Asthma Handbook.
Non-adherence to prescribed medications in severe asthma is an important problem. It is incorrect to assume that disease severity will result in better adherence. In patients referred to a UK severe asthma service, 35% of new referrals were filling 50% or less prescriptions (Gamble et al. 2009). Patients with poor adherence have been found to have lower lung function and higher airway eosinophils, along with poor asthma control (Murphy et al. 2012).