Skip to main content
Log in

Asthma education for Swedish primary care physicians – a study on the effects of "academic detailing" on practice and patient knowledge

  • Published:
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Objective: To assess the effect of an intervention on general practitioners' (GPs) knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, including the prescribing of anti-asthmatic drugs, and asthmatic patients' knowledge about their disease.

Methods: The study took place in the south-west region of Stockholm County. In the area where the intervention took place (area 1), 44 GPs at 21 health centres were visited by a clinical pharmacologist and a pharmacist presenting oral and written information. The basic messages were: (1) the central role of inhaled glucocorticoids; (2) the use of peak expiratory flow (PEF) meters; and (3) the use of reversibility tests. In the control area (area 2), there were 19 GPs at nine health centres. The GPs knowledge about the intervention message was evaluated by a questionnaire pre- and post-intervention. The ratios of prescribed inhaled be β-adrenoceptor agonists to inhaled glucocorticoids were determined. At the 26 local pharmacies, all asthmatic patients who presented a prescription for anti-asthmatic drugs, issued at the 30 health centres, were given a questionnaire before and after the intervention regarding their knowledge of asthma and its treatment.

Results: GPs in area 1 showed significantly more knowledge about item numbers 2 and 3 in the above-described intervention message than did the GPs in the control area 2. The data on prescriptions showed lower ratios of β-adrenoceptor agonists to glucocorticoids in area 1 than in area 2. The difference, however, between area 1 and area 2 was not significant. After the GP intervention, the patients' knowledge about asthma had increased in area 1, as assessed by the questionnaire filled in by the patients. However, there was no significant difference from that in area 2.

Conclusions: The study shows differences between the intervention and control areas regarding the knowledge and practice of GPs after the intervention. We found changes in knowledge, attitudes and actual practice, the latter being measured by the prescriptions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Received: 3 October 1996 / Accepted in revised form: 23 July 1997

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tomson, Y., Hasselström, J., Tomson, G. et al. Asthma education for Swedish primary care physicians – a study on the effects of "academic detailing" on practice and patient knowledge. E J Clin Pharmacol 53, 191–196 (1997).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: