Occupational Asthma Reference

Fishwick D, Bradshaw L, Davies J, Henson M, Stenton C, Burge PS, Niven R, Warburton C, Hendrick D, Rogers T, Rawbone R, Curran AD, Are we failing workers with symptoms suggestive of occupational asthma?, Primary Care Respiratory Journal, 2007;16:304-310,

Keywords: Diagnostic delay, referral, primary care, UK, diagnosis,

Known Authors

Andrew Curran, HSL, Sheffield, UK Andrew Curran

David Fishwick, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK David Fishwick

Chris Stenton, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Chris Stenton

Sherwood Burge, Oasys Sherwood Burge

Roger Rawbone, Retired - ex Health and Safety Executive Roger Rawbone

Lisa Bradshaw, Health and Safety Laboratories Lisa Bradshaw

Chris Warburton, Liverpool Chris Warburton

David Hendrick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne David Hendrick

Rob Niven, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester Rob Niven

Mandy Henson, HSL, Buxton Mandy Henson

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To assess the route to secondary care for patients with possible occupational asthma, and to document the duration of workrelated symptoms and referral times.

Consecutive patients with suspected occupational asthma were recruited to a case series from six secondary care clinics with an interest in occupational asthma. Semi-structured interviews were performed and hospital case notes were reviewed to summarise relevant investigations and diagnosis.

97 patients were recruited, with a mean age of 44.2 years (range 24-64), 51 of whom (53%) had occupational asthma confirmed as a diagnosis. Most (96%) had consulted their general practitioner (GP) at least once with work-related respiratory symptoms, although these had been present for a mean of 44.6 months (range 0-320 months) on presentation to secondary care. Patients experienced a mean delay for assessment in secondary care of 4 years (range 1-27 years) following presentation in primary care.

Significant diagnostic delay currently occurs for patients with occupational asthma in the UK.

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