Monday, June 5, 2006—Most people with asthma who take medication rarely discuss side effects with a doctor and many of them stop taking their medicine or skip doses during treatment, a large international survey finds.

The culprit appears to be poor doctor-patient communication.

“The data in the United States show that doctors don’t seem to be spending as much time as they should with asthma patients,” said survey team member Dr. Michael A. Kaliner, of the Institute for Asthma & Allergy.

Because asthma is a chronic disease, good control of it takes commitment on the part of both patients and their health-care providers, he said. However, when physicians are under pressure to see many patients in a relatively short time period, which is the case in some health maintenance organizations, conversations about asthma care may be rushed or incomplete, he suggested.

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