The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program published new updates in their asthma management guideline.

“Since the most recent Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3) was released in 2007, there has been substantial progress in understanding asthma diagnosis, management, and treatment,” said Michelle M. Cloutier, MD, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington and chair of the Expert Panel Working Group that developed the updated document.

The panel used the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) framework to rate the certainty of evidence supporting each recommendation, and they solicited public input to help guide the decision to update the guidelines as well as topic selection. Focus groups included people with asthma, caregivers, and health care providers. The systematic reviews used to inform the recommendations were conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The 19 resulting recommendations are grouped by 6 priority topic areas as shown below; the strength of each recommendation (strong or conditional) and the certainty of the supporting evidence (low, moderate, or high) are noted for each item. Of the 6 topic areas, 2 — fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) testing and bronchial thermoplasty — are new additions to the guidelines. 

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