Background. In Western countries a large proportion of asthmatic patients remain uncontrolled, despite the availability of effective drugs. An involvement of pharmacies / pharmacists in asthma management has been suggested in guidelines, since this could provide a relevant support. Objective. The present cross-sectional study aimed at assessing the level of asthma control, by using ACT questionnaire, in the community pharmacies in the County of Verona, North East of Italy. Methods. A call for participation was sent by Verona Pharmacists' Association to all the pharmacies located in the Verona municipality. Patients with a medical prescription and an asthma exemption code were recruited in pharmacies. They were asked to fill the ACT questionnaire and to answer some additional questions on asthma treatment, smoke habits and comorbidities. Results. Thirty-seven community pharmacies recruited 239 patients. According to the ACT score, more than 50% of patients had a controlled asthma but 20% of them were totally uncontrolled and 12% were using oral steroid. Only 2.9% of patients had received an asthma action plan. Asthma was intermittent in 17.6% of patients, mild persistent in 13.8%, moderate persistent in 63.1% and severe in 5.4%. Discordance was observed between the self-perceived asthma control and objective parameters, when available. Of note, in the severe asthma group, most patients had an ACT > 20. Conclusion. This is the first Italian pharmacy-based study on asthma control. A better asthma control was recorded in this study in comparison with other trials, but about 50% of patients were insufficiently controlled. The community pharmacies can play a relevant role in the preliminary assessment of asthma control by using easy and not time consuming tools, such as ACT.
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