• Vol. 39 No. 10, 783–789
  • 15 October 2010

Difference in Asthma Control Test™ (ACT) Scores in Three Different Clinical Practice Settings



Introduction: Asthma control varies in different clinical settings because of its multidimensional and heterogeneous nature, and variability over time. The revised asthma management guidelines indicate that the goal of treatment should be maintaining asthma control for long periods. The aims of this study were to explore: (i) difference in asthma control test scores in patients at different clinical practice settings; (ii) assess if patients were overestimating the level of their asthma control and (iii) assess the relationship of the derived Asthma Control Test (ACT) score to cost of inpatient stay and length of stay (LOS).

Materials and Methods: The Asthma Control Test (ACT) is a 5-item questionnaire that assesses the multidimensional perspective of asthma control from activity limitation, shortness of breath, night symptoms, use of rescue medication and self perception of asthma control. The score ranges on a scale from 1 (poorly controlled) to 5 (well controlled). ACT was administered to 447 patients diagnosed with asthma from the in-patient and out-patient settings (new and follow-up cases).

Results: Three hundred and ninety-nine (92%) patients completed the ACT questionnaire. The analysis only included patients who had completed the ACT questionnaire. The analysis showed that all the 5 items in the ACT questionnaire were significantly associated with different clinical settings (P <0.001). When we correlated the ACT question 5 (patients self rating of asthma control) in the ACT with Question 3 and Question 4 individually, it showed that most patients did not overestimate their asthma control (P <0.001). However, there was no correlation between the derived ACT score and cost (P = 0.419), LOS (P = 0.373), and the number of comorbid medical history (P = 0.055).

Conclusion: Our results reinforce the usefulness of ACT for clinicians to identify patients with poorly controlled asthma and to optimise their level of control in different clinical settings.

The prevalence of asthma ranges from 1% to 18% worldwide and it remains a significant cause of morbidity and economic burden despite advances in its knowledge, detection and treatment. Asthma is very common in Singapore and it consumes a considerable amount of healthcare service resources.

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