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Nearly half (45.2%) of adults diagnosed with asthma have also been diagnosed with a psychological condition including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders

Chiesi survey reveals the true impact of the condition on the mental wellbeing of adults with asthma across the UK


Manchester, UK, 21st December 2020 – A significant proportion of people with asthma are suffering from worry, stress, anxiety, and low moods, a new survey carried out by Opinion Health on behalf of Chiesi Limited reveals.1


The ‘Getting it off your chest: revealing the psychological impact of asthma’ survey of 500 adults with a diagnosis of asthma across the UK found that more than half (54.4%) are worried about their condition, with over a third (33.6%) saying that it impacts on their stress levels.1 Many have been diagnosed with depression (28.4%), anxiety disorders (30.8%) and bipolar disorders (2%).1 Of those with mental health disorders, almost half (47.8%) think their psychological condition has worsened their asthma symptoms with nearly a third (32.3%) stating that their psychological condition has, in fact, been caused by the burden of their asthma.1


According to the survey, eight out of ten (81.2%) adults with asthma have never had a discussion with their healthcare professional about the psychological impact of their condition and 77.4% have never been asked to complete a screening questionnaire regarding their psychological health.1 Even though 46.4% would find psychological support in their interactions with healthcare professionals useful to better manage the emotional impact of asthma, 23% of respondents said they do not feel confident asking their consultant, GP, primary care nurse or pharmacist for psychological help.1


Dr Daniel O’Toole, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Citadel Psychology, comments, “These results highlight the unmet need faced by asthma sufferers in the UK. Although we have made some progress in helping adults with asthma better control their condition, the findings demonstrate there is much more to be done to support them by improving the psychological care provided. This need is likely to be more prominent now during the COVID-19 pandemic where lockdown and ‘shielding’ measures can lead to, amongst others, increased feelings of worry, anxiety and isolation.”


The survey also uncovered that only half (50.8%) of respondents have an asthma management plan - a personalised step-by-step strategy document to help people with asthma stay on top of their condition.1 There is evidence that people who are given a written asthma management plan are four times less likely to need hospital care for their asthma.2


“People with asthma spend a very small proportion of their time consulting healthcare professionals about their condition, either for a review appointment or when they need advice in an emergency. So for the vast majority of time they are managing it themselves. It’s therefore vital that healthcare professionals support them by providing tools and strategies that will enable them to best manage their condition at home, as well as ensuring there is support available beyond the clinic or hospital. Better routine management leads to better control of asthma, and ultimately reduces the need for emergency consultations either in general practice or in hospital,” said Stephen Gaduzo, Respiratory GP with Special Interest.


Asthma affects around 5.4 million people in the UK, where every 10 seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.3 The NHS spends approximately £1 billion a year treating and caring for people with asthma.3 In 2016/17 there were 77,124 admissions to hospital for asthma in the UK.3 Whilst triggers vary from person to person, knowing how to deal with them can reduce the risk of experiencing a more severe attack that necessitates a hospital visit.4


Tom Delahoyde, Managing Director of Chiesi UK, said: “At Chiesi, we are committed to supporting patients with asthma every step of the way. We carried out this survey to gain further insights into how we can better achieve this. We look forward to using these insights to help improve the quality of care available to those living with asthma.”



  1. ‘Getting it off your chest: revealing the psychological impact of asthma’ survey. 2020. [data on file]
  2. Asthma UK. Filling in patients' asthma action plans. Available at: Last accessed December 2020
  3. Asthma UK. Asthma facts and statistics. Available at: Last accessed December 2020
  4. Asthma UK. Understanding asthma triggers. Available at: Last accessed December 2020 

Editor Details

  • Company:
    • Chiesi UK
  • Name:
    • Chiesi UK
Last Updated: 21-Dec-2020