By ‘clinical variables’, the authors mean traditional end-points like symptoms, reliever use, forced expiratory volume in one second percent predicted, morning peak expiratory flow and airway hyperresponsiveness. ‘subjective variables’ mean patient-centred benefits like quality of life, patient global assessments and the feeling of improvement as determined by asthma control questionnaire.
There are 2 hypotheses in this study which are: 1) Some traditional measurements (clinical variables) of improvement during asthma treatment may not reflect the estimation of benefit by the patient. 2) Patients may benefit (subjective variables) from a specific class of asthma medication in ways which were not captured by the measurement of lung function.
Measures of asthma control are a much-debated topic in the recent times. This is because there are various measures to determine the efficacy of treatment. Most researchers use lung function and clinical improvement as criteria for improvement. even the international guidelines are based on these. However, what the researchers perceive as improvement may not be the same in case of patients. Patients may have their own meaning of improvement and only if they feel that a particular class of medicine is effective will they adhere to treatment. This is the basis of the hypotheses in the article under study.
This study included 58 subjects from three sites in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Only those with mild to moderate asthma, who had previously used a short-acting ß2-agonist with/without an inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) 500 µg beclomethasone equivalent and in the age group 16 to 75 years, were included in the study. In all subjects, ICS treatment was ceased at an entry to the study. Those with mild to moderate asthma were only considered because, in reality, these patients need only monotherapy and they are symptomatic enough to show a treatment response. . .