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BACKGROUND: The stepwise approach to long-term asthma management, which traditionally incorporates short-acting β2-agonist reliever therapy, has been a core feature of asthma guidelines for over 30 years. There have been no studies, however, directly investigating the use of an entire guideline-recommended track. Recently, inhaled corticosteroid-formoterol has been recommended as the preferred reliever therapy in adult asthma, in accordance with a stepwise "Anti-Inflammatory Reliever" (AIR) treatment track. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the AIR stepwise approach recommended by the New Zealand adolescent and adult asthma guidelines, in combination with a novel algorithm for transitioning between treatment steps. METHODS: This 52-week, open-label, single-group study will recruit 100 adults aged 18 to 75 years with mild, moderate and moderate-severe asthma (ACTRN12620001010987). Participants will be allocated to budesonide-formoterol 200/6 µg, one actuation as needed (Step 1), one actuation twice daily and as needed (Step 2), or two actuations twice daily and one as needed (Step 3). Treatment steps will be adjusted throughout the study, in response to reliever use and asthma attacks, according to a stepwise AIR algorithm. Following a 26-week period of investigator-led transitions, participants will adjust their own treatment step. The primary outcome is participant satisfaction as measured by the Global Satisfaction score of the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication. Secondary outcomes will assess efficacy and safety, and describe patterns of medication use and participant flow through the treatment steps. CONCLUSION: This is the first trial to assess the AIR treatment track and algorithm. The results will provide knowledge to guide the clinical use of this approach.

Original publication




Journal article


ERJ Open Res

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