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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-92

Clinical utility of peak flow meter in asthma diagnosis and monitoring in low- and middle-income countries: A narrative review

Department of Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Oluwafemi T Ojo
Department of Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, 1-5 Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_4_23

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Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) suffer a disproportionate burden of asthma-related deaths. This may be attributed to the underdiagnosis and undertreatment. It remains unclear the extent to which the access to utility of peak flow meters (PFMs) affect the mortality rates recorded across LMICs. The purpose of this narrative review was to offer a comprehensive overview of PFMs’ clinical value for diagnosing and monitoring asthma in low- and middle-income nations. Using the standards for conducting a narrative review, this paper carried out a literature search on three major databases: Google Scholar, ResearchGate, and PubMed. Search terms were created from the variables present in the topic and strung together to find relevant literature. Exclusion criteria were used to ensure that the chosen articles were relevant after a trickle of articles was collected from various databases on the internet. There is limited knowledge about the clinical utility of PFM in LMICs despite the evidence that it can be used to demonstrate large airway obstruction. There is also limited access to the device in most health facilities and patients for self-monitoring. There is a need for more awareness on the usefulness of peak flow among doctors on the utility of the device for asthma diagnosis and monitoring. There is also a need for more research to assess the impact of the poor use of the device on asthma diagnosis, management, and overall outcome.

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