COVID-19 information for people living with asthma: A rapid review of publicly available information

Kirstie McClatchey, Tracy Jackson, Brigitte Delaney, Noelle Morgan, Hilary Pinnock, Amy Hai Yan Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: In 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, posing risk to high-risk communities, such as people living with severe asthma.
Objective: To rapidly review COVID-19 information available online for people with asthma, to assess whether information aligns with risk communication and asthma self-management guidelines.
Methods: Information from five English-speaking countries and global websites providing COVID-19 information for people with asthma (including those at high-risk of severe disease) were downloaded at two time points (20th April and 18th May 2020). Downloaded webpages were analysed using a coding framework developed by a multidisciplinary team, informed by the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency risk communication guideline and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) asthma guidelines.
Results: We identified 102 webpages from 43 unique organisations that provided asthma-related health information. Only 14 (33%) organisations stated that their information had been reviewed/updated within the week prior to the first download date. Half of the organisations acknowledged/communicated uncertainty about current COVID-19 knowledge (n=22, 51%). Most organisations provided generic COVID-19 health information e.g. handwashing guidance (n=38, 88%), and most discussed asthma self-management strategies (n=36, 84%). However, only 24 (56%) provided information relevant to the self-management elements of the NICE guidelines, with only 14 (33%) discussing asthma action plans.
Conclusion: COVID-19 online information for people with asthma largely followed the WHO emergency risk communication guideline and provided some self-management strategies, though omitted asthma action plan advice. We propose that when providing information about COVID-19 for individuals with asthma, explicit asthma self-management information should be included.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Early online date18 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2021


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