Reliability of diagnosis and asthma knowledge, attitudes and perception (KAP) in rural population of NWFP, Pakistan.

Mukhtiar Zaman, Saadia Ashraf, Muhammad Javaid


Beliefs and attitudes have been proposed as partial explanations for low adherence to medical therapy and the consequent high morbidity from asthma. Out of a database of Rural Health Center in Northern Pakistan, one hundred and seventy three self reported asthmatics were interviewed; 75% of whom were diagnosed by doctors and 25% self diagnosed. The participants’ mean age was 39.4±18 years; 59% were females. Thirty seven percent were housewives, 18% farmers, 15 % students whereas 40% were unemployed. The mean duration of illness was seventy two months (range 1 to 480 months). Monthly income of 79% of the participants was less than Rs.5000.00. On assessment, the diagnosis of asthma was confirmed by experts in 143 (83%) cases, mean FEV1 76.6±28.4% predicted; whereas 30 (17%) patients with mean FEV1
48.6±23.1% predicted, were found to be suffering from COPD on the basis of
history, examination, spirometry, reversibility testing and response to treatment. The KAP results showed the following perceptions among the asthma patients: Asthma can be cured (50%); Asthma requires life long medication (54%); Asthma can not be cured (27%); My children will also suffer from asthma (26%); Asthma is fatal disease (53%) and Asthma is contagious disease (50%). KAP of asthma patients in rural communities regarding asthma is low and majority of the patients have poorly controlled asthma. Self reported asthma should be confirmed by trained health professionals.


Asthma; KAP; Pakistan

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