Emergency Room of Alia Governmental hospital in Hebron district, south of West Bank, Palestine.
To determine the factors associated with chronic asthma severity among asthma patients attending the emergency rooms in Palestine.
A cross-sectional study using previously validated questionnaires.
Among the 121 patients, 45.5% had moderate/severe asthma. Most days' regular intake of oral theophylline, and using ≥5 courses/year of oral steroids were more likely to be associated with moderate/severe asthmatics (p < 0.05). Moderate/severe asthmatics compared with mild asthmatics were more likely to use inhaled short B2-agonists more frequently (most days, 50% vs. 17%; p < 0.05) and in higher concentrations (≥1 cannister/month, 78% vs. 29%; p < 0.05). They were also more likely to get regular treatment (p < 0.05) and to report their inability to afford/obtain asthma medicines (p > 0.05).
Access to health services doesn't necessarily ensure a good quality of care for asthmatics. The effectiveness of oral theophyline in controlling the more severe asthma symptoms should be reconsidered. We recommend a training program for health professionals and an educational one on self-management for the asthma patients.