Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Completed Project: ADxDA

Asthma Diagnosis Decision Aid (ADxDA)

The ADxDA study will help develop a computer decision support system (CDSS) that helps GPs and asthma nurses diagnose asthma.

A tricky diagnosis

Asthma can be hard to diagnose and without an accurate diagnosis, people with asthma may not get the treatment they need to control their asthma well.

One way of making diagnosis more accurate is to use the electronic health records used in general practice to help doctors and nurses decide if someone is likely to have asthma (or not).

How could CDSS help to improve diagnosis?

By using specially designed software to find the information from a patient’s record that will help the GP or nurse to make good diagnosis decisions.

Our CDSS could:

  1. Help doctors and nurses diagnose asthma more accurately. This may include suggesting which tests could help make the diagnosis.
  2. Give advice about more tests to find out the type of asthma the patient has - so the most suitable, personalised treatment can be started right away.
  3. Support patients as they work with their doctor or nurse to find out whether they have asthma
  4. Give information about asthma to people who have just got their diagnosis.   

Patients and Professionals will play a key part in developing the CDSS

In the ADxDA study we’ll invite GP’s, asthma nurses and patients from across Scotland and England to tell us what it was like being diagnosed with asthma.

We’ll ask GP’s and nurses how they make an asthma diagnosis just now, and the things that make it easier - or harder - for them. We’ll also ask about practical things – such as how the CDSS could be integrated with the electronic health record.

We’ll also look at patient experiences and get their ideas about how being testing for asthma can be improved by asking what they’d like the CDSS to do for them.

We’ll use all this information to design a CDSS system which we’ll then pilot.

Key People

headshot of Hilary Pinnock

Hilary Pinnock

Headshot of Luke Daines

Luke Daines

Lead: Optimising management of asthma attacks

Lead: Postgraduate Training, Network Coordinator

Clinical Research Fellow

Based at: University of Edinburgh Based at: University of Edinburgh
Hilary's Profile Luke's Profile
Eddie Donaghy

Eddie Donaghy

headshot of Emily Healy

Emily Healy

Research Fellow Research Administrator
Based at: University of Edinburgh Based at: University of Edinburgh
Eddie's Profile Emily's Profile


Canny, A, Donaghy, E, Murray, V, et al. 

Patient views on asthma diagnosis and how a clinical decision support system could help: a qualitative study. 

Health Expect. 2023; 26: 307- 317. doi:10.1111/hex.13657 


May 2019 - April 2022

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