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Asthma- Essential Guide

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’The book is an absolute “must read” for anyone living with asthma, their family and/or carers’

Title: Asthma- Essential Guide

Author: Catherine Short

Publisher: Needtoknow

Reviewer: Claire McGuigan

What was it like?

What a truly brilliant resource! This book is short and concise with the entire book written in 117pages. It offers an impressive and factual journey through the condition of asthma, focusing on what asthma is, differences between atopic and non-allergic asthma, treatments used; including the role of complimentary therapies, triggers to asthma and how to manage an asthma attack. The book is well written for those affected by asthma, either newly diagnosed or long term suffers and for those caring for a child or adult with asthma.

What were the highlights?

This book has ten short chapters with just the right amount of “need to know” information in each. Each chapter is skillfully closed with a short “summing up” section, which aids the reader’s reflection and understanding.

The book is an absolute “must read” for anyone living with asthma, their family and/or carers. It is also applicable to a wide range of health care professionals, in particular students of nursing and midwifery and nurses who would like to quickly update their knowledge or, are seeking an invaluable resource to empower their patients and promote wellbeing.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book reassures readers that asthma is a long term condition that needn’t control your life. It coaches readers to develop their understanding and empowers them to use the information and guidance included to develop personalised self-management plans in collaboration with their doctor/nurse.

The book discusses asthma across all ages and the role of vaccinations. It offers guidance on how to manage an asthma attack; stepping down treatment, airway remodelling, use of peak flow meters and practical advice on finding the right childcare and traveling or staying away from home overnight.

The book is fresh and relevant. In particular the section on “Goals of Asthma Treatment” simplifies the aims of various inhalers (reliever and preventer) and a range of common medications used. This chapter is supported by appendices that illustrate the British Theracic Society’s Stepwise Management Guides, which informs the reader on how medical and nursing decisions are made.

Who should read it?

This is a very balanced and empowering book that will assist those living with asthma and their families/carers to feel more in control and able to make informed choices regarding their asthma.



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