Barriers to adherence to asthma management guidelines among inner-city primary care providers

Juan P. Wisnivesky, Jessica Lorenzo, Richard Lyn-Cook, Thomas Newman, Adam Aponte, Elizabeth Kiefer, Ethan A. Halm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Background: Health care provider adherence to national asthma guidelines is critical in translating evidence-based recommendations into improved outcomes. Unfortunately, provider adherence to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) guidelines remains low. Objective: To identify barriers to guideline adherence among primary care professionals providing care to inner-city, minority patients with asthma. Methods: We surveyed 202 providers from 4 major general medicine practices in East Harlem in New York, New York. The study outcome was self-reported adherence to 5 NHLBI guideline components: inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) use, peak flow (PF) monitoring, action plan use, allergy testing, and influenza vaccination. Potential barriers included lack of agreement with guideline, lack of self-efficacy, lack of outcome expectancy, and external barriers. Results: Most providers reported adhering to the NHLBI guidelines for ICS use (62%) and for influenza vaccinations (73%). Self-reported adherence was 34% for PF monitoring, 9% for asthma action plan use, and 10% for allergy testing. Multivariate analyses showed that self-efficacy was associated with increased adherence to ICS use (odds ratio [OR], 2.8; P = .03), PF monitoring (OR, 2.3; P = .05), action plan use (OR, 4.9; P = .03), and influenza vaccinations (OR, 3.5; P = .05). Conversely, greater expected patient adherence was associated with increased adherence to PF monitoring (OR, 3.3; P = .03) and influenza vaccination (OR, 3.5; P = .01). Familiarity with specific guideline components and higher level of training were also predictors of adherence. Conclusions: Lack of outcome expectancy and poor provider self-efficacy prevent providers from adhering to national asthma guidelines. Efforts to improve provider adherence should address these specific barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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