"Can Do" Versus "Do Do" in Patients with Asthma at First Referral to a Pulmonologist

S.M.J. Janssen, M.A. Spruit, J.C. Antons, R.S. Djamin, J.J. Abbink, H.A.C. van Helvoort, A.J. van 't Hul*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Pharmacotherapy is key in asthma control, including preventing lung function decline, in primary care. However, patients' physical functioning (eg, physical capacity [PC] [=can do] and physical activity [PA] [=do do]) correlates poorly with lung function. Therefore, a better insight into the physical function of patients with asthma is needed, using the "can do, do do" concept.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the "can do, do do" concept in adult patients with asthma at referral for the first time to an outpatient consultation of a pulmonologist.

METHODS: PC was measured using the six-minute walk test and PA by using an accelerometer. Patients were classified into quadrants: low PC (6-minute walking distance

RESULTS: A total of 479 patients with asthma had a median (interquartile range) 6-minute walking distance of 74% (66%82%) predicted, and walked 6829 (4593-9075) steps/d. Only 29% were classified as "can do, do do," whereas 30% were classified as "can't do, don't do." The Asthma Control Questionnaire and the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire scores were worst in the "can't do" groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Low PC and/or PA was found in most patients with asthma at the index referral to a pulmonologist. An impaired PC is accompanied by a significantly reduced asthma control and disease-specific quality of life. This justifies further studies on safety and efficacy of nonpharmacological interventions, such as physiotherapy. (C) 2020 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1284
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Asthma
  • Asthma control
  • Physical activity
  • Physical capacity
  • Quality of life
  • COPD


Dive into the research topics of '"Can Do" Versus "Do Do" in Patients with Asthma at First Referral to a Pulmonologist'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this