Understanding what asthma plans mean: a linguistic analysis of terminology used in published texts

Nicola Ring, Hilary Pinnock, Caroline Wilson, Gaylor Hoskins, Ruth Jepson, Sally Wyke, Aziz Sheikh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    AIM: To identify from the literature what terms are used for ‘asthma plans’, with what meaning, and in what context(s). METHODS: Linguistic analysis of a selected body of asthma literature from 1989-2009. RESULTS: A wide range of asthma plan terminology was evident, with terms such as ‘action plans’, ‘self-management plans’ and ‘treatment plans’ being applied inconsistently and synonymously. For individual patients the term ‘asthma plan’ can describe a clinically-determined list of prescribed medication, an agreed plan to guide self-management of changing symptoms, or a more holistic ‘living with asthma’ plan. In some contexts the term ‘asthma plan’ was also used to describe an organisational system of care, which causes further ambiguity. CONCLUSIONS: Within the literature, a plethora of terms is used inconsistently and with varied meaning. This is a potential, but previously unrecognised, barrier to asthma plan implementation. A taxonomy of asthma plans and a standardised definitions of terms is required.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)170-177
    Number of pages8
    JournalPrimary Care Respiratory Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


    • Asthma
    • Action plans
    • Self-management plans
    • Terminology
    • Meaning
    • Linguistic analysis


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