Variations in general practitioners' views of asthma management in four European countries

2001 | journal article; research paper. A publication of Göttingen

Jump to: Cite & Linked | Documents & Media | Details | Version history

Cite this publication

​Variations in general practitioners' views of asthma management in four European countries​
Wahlström, R.; Lagerlov, P.; Lundborg, C. S.; Veninga, C.; Hummers-Pradier, E. ; Dahlgren, L. O. & Denig, P.​ (2001) 
Social Science & Medicine53(4) pp. 507​-518​.​ DOI: 

Documents & Media


GRO License GRO License


Wahlström, R.; Lagerlov, P.; Lundborg, C. S.; Veninga, CCM; Hummers-Pradier, Eva ; Dahlgren, L. O.; Denig, P.
The aim was to identify differences and similarities in views regarding asthma management among general practitioners in four European countries (Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden), and to explore reasons For suboptimal performance. The results are to be used for the development and tailoring of educational interventions. Semistructured interviews with 20 GPs in each country were conducted and analysed using a phenomenographic approach. The domains of (i) general view of asthma, (ii) the doctor-patient relationship in managing asthma, and (iii) overall management of asthma (treatment goals and evaluation of results) were approached during the interviews. There were different ways of experiencing phenomena related to asthma management both within and between the four countries, Three general views on asthma were found where different perspectives were emphasised: a medical, a 'global (including community health, social and environmental aspects) and a patient's perspective. Within the medical perspective, only a Few German doctors emphasised a psychological aetiology of asthma. The views on the doctor-patient relationship described as 'authoritarian', 'teaching' or 'empowering' occurred similarly in all countries. The majority of the doctors showed confidence in the effectiveness of the pharmaceutical treatment of asthma, some doctors were concerned about limitations, but only in Germany a few doctors were explicitly critical of the values of conventional pharmaceutical treatment. The main treatment goals were either conceived as getting the patient symptom-free (Netherlands, Norway, and Germany) or to control the inflammatory process (Sweden). Several German and some Norwegian doctors expressed the view that patients had to accept the disease and learn how to manage it, while a few German doctors aimed at alternative treatments of asthma. The existence of qualitatively different ways of experiencing asthma management, both in and between countries, calls for consideration when trying to implement general evidence-based treatment guidelines. A variation of approaches in continuing medical education for GPs is needed to address such existing beliefs and conceptions that could sometimes be opposed to the content of educational messages. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Issue Date
Social Science & Medicine 
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin 



Social Media