Improving Childhood Asthma Management (ICAM) Community of Practice – session 3: Back to school (31 January 2024)

This community of practice (CoP) session will focus on Asthma Action Plans (AAPs), including how and when to do them, and barriers health professionals face in completing them and/or communicating with schools. There will be case studies and a section on understanding the difference between exercise-induced asthma, and poor fitness.

Session resources

Updated asthma HealthPathways pages. Please find the links below. 

The Royal Children Hospital’s asthma videos have been translated into Arabic, simplified and traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese – 

Asthma Australia competition link:  

Community Asthma Program (CAP): The Community Asthma Program (CAP) provides free asthma education and support for children (1- 17yrs) with asthma or pre-school asthma. Asthma nurse educators work one on one with families to provide information and help them manage their child’s asthma. Including medication management, understanding Asthma Actions Plans, when to seek medical or emergency assistance and liaison with GPs and education settings. Asthma nurse educators can provide education using telehealth, clinic or home visits. This service is provided by cohealth or DPV, depending on your location. For more information and to make a referral go to or 

Referral form is on Best Practice. The new referral form will be on the CAP webpage in the coming weeks. In the meantime contact: Referrals accepted from all Health Care Professionals, Schools and direct from families. If you would like to register for more information about the Community Asthma Program please complete this form: 

National Asthma Council resources:        

During the ICAM project, the National Asthma Council developed a locally tailored education package to ensure asthma care providers in North West Melbourne education settings and sports clubs, including school staff and sports club staff, are equipped with the knowledge and tools to provide high quality asthma care to children and adolescents in Melbourne’s inner west. 

Questions and links from Zoom meeting chat: 

Q: With Symbicort prn, what frequency do you advise patients? 

A (by Shivanthan Shanthikumar): I say take one inhalation of Symbicort, and then wait 15 mins, and then if you need another one take it. But most people will have relief with one inhalation. Max is 12 inhalations (including maintenance dose) in a day. 

There is a learning package on adolescent asthma on this page which provides more info on using Symbicort as a reliever. 


Q: What is your experience with powder vs. MDI? 

A (by Shivanthan Shanthikumar): I always try to use the DPI for a few reasons – Evidence generated with DPI; Don’t need a spacer; Better for the environment. I think nearly all adolescents with education can use them. But happy to use MDI if the adolescent really doesn’t want DPI or if developmental delay. 


Q: Quite often it was advised to give to children without asthma Ventolin by various people. Will giving Ventolin only may any difference in this situation? 

A (by Shivanthan Shanthikumar): I try to stop Ventolin being given to people without asthma. Sometimes if you are not sure if they have asthma then it can be good to do a trial and then reassess and stop if unhelpful – also can use the community asthma program to help with this 


Further learning opportunities:  

QI activities: Our Quality Improvement (QI) Asthma Review and Asthma Action Plan templates are available for general practices to improve patient outcomes and deliver best practice care. The completion of these self-directed quality improvement activities can easily be self-recorded for RACGP – Measuring Outcomes hours.   

  1. Increase the number of paediatric patients who have had a 6-monthly asthma review (moderate to severe asthma)
  2. Increase the number of paediatric patients who have a complete asthma action plan