Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Achieving Asthma Control

  • The primary goal of asthma care is to help persons with asthma achieve and maintain control of their disease, thereby improving their health outcomes and quality of life.
  • This Guideline is consistent with the current parameters for defining asthma control developed by the CTS). Click here to view asthma control criteria and the associated cut-points for determining asthma control according to the CTS.
  • It is important for nurses to emphasize asthma control rather than asthma severity when conducting assessments, because classifying asthma in terms of severity can be misleading (RNAO, 2007a). Severity refers to the intrinsic intensity of the asthma disease process.
  • Life-threatening asthma exacerbations can occur in all persons with asthma, regardless of whether the asthma is “mild” or “severe”. Asthma exacerbations may be marked by a slow onset with a gradual loss of asthma control, or they may occur suddenly as severe—and potentially fatal—exacerbations.
  • Asthma control assessment is essential for guiding asthma care. The best way to help prevent deaths due to asthma is by helping individuals keep their disease under control, regardless of the severity.
  • Evidence-based asthma care can lead to optimal asthma control. Evidence-based care includes self-management education, creating documented asthma action plans in collaboration with persons with asthma, promoting appropriate medication use, and coordinating appropriate follow-up care.
  • Optimizing asthma control can improve quality of life for the person with asthma, and can reduce urgent/emergent related health-care visits and health-care costs.




Chronic Disease
Adult Asthma Care Guidelines for Nurses: Promoting Control of Asthma
Background Information