Background: In 1997, asthma care guidelines were developed and published with an interval 2002 update and large scale update, again in 2007, which was published and referred to as Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR-3) Full Report 2007.
This report encompasses current clinical guidance to physicians for the optimal management of asthma. The use of Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF), measured by the patient on a regular basis using a portable, consumer-focused flow device, is a recurring recommendation since the 1997 report. Nonetheless, patients with asthma are seldom ‘prescribed’ or trained how to use such a device. There are many possible reasons by physicians are not promulgating this recommendation. As a practical matter, a significant barrier to implementation of PEF into routine asthma care depends on physician knowledge of which device is available, affordable, usable, and reliable. A report summarizing current devices cannot be found in the current clinic literature. This project was organized to develop and promulgate such a summary. A quick search of available devices and sources using Amazon.com reveals > 10 devices. Device precision has been conducted to some extent by other investigations and has been addressed by the American Thoracic Society, therefore, this project did not measure precision. Ultimately, integration of lung performance in the routine preventative care of asthma depends on patient use of the PEF meter, which is ostensibly influenced by a number of practical factors. In consideration of such factors, evaluation criteria were developed with score scales designed to reflect practical use concerns.