Gaurav Rajauria, Sofia Nikhat, Rajveer Singh, Ravindra Pal Singh
Patient counseling is an interpersonal communication between the pharmacists and the patient/patient party regarding the disease, medications and lifestyle modifications. Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the respiratory system. It affects a significant number of people worldwide, leading to high morbidity and mortality. Asthma is a chronic disease requiring lifelong treatment and involves the use of specialized devices. It also requires self-monitoring of treatment by the patient. A pharmacist can play an active role in asthma management by counseling the patients. Counseling the asthma patients is known to increase the patient’s knowledge regarding the disease, medications and lifestyle modifications, thus improving patient adherence to the treatment and leading to better therapeutic outcomes and quality of life. While counseling the patients, the pharmacists should focus on the disease, medications, specialized inhaler devices as well as lifestyle modifications such as avoiding cigarette smoking, avoidance of allergens, etc. Pharmacists should provide special counseling to special population groups like pregnant patients, children and elderly patients. A pharmacist can adopt several strategies such as the use of placebo inhalers, audiovisual aids and distribution of patient information leaflets to improve the quality of counseling. There are several studies worldwide showing positive results with pharmacist-provided counseling in asthma. In developing countries, the concept of patient counseling is at the infancy stage and data regarding pharmacist-provided counseling in asthma are scarce.