Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines: 15 years of application

Claus Kroegel
Expert Review of Clinical Immunology 2009, 5 (3): 239-49
The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), founded in 1993, embodies a network of public health organizations and medical societies, as well as other individuals concerned with asthma. Its first report, published in 1995 and entitled 'A Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention', has been widely adopted, providing the foundation for asthma guidelines in many nations across the world. To this effect, the report has not only been translated into several languages but has also been frequently updated. Since its establishment 15 years ago, GINA has undergone two major paradigm shifts. The first was the change in the late 1990s from an opinion- to an evidence-based approach for the management of asthma severity. The second, an even more radical shift, was seen in 2006, when the revised GINA guidelines involved the classification of asthma severity according to the level of control as a guide to treatment. In order to classify asthma control, elements such as the significance of the partnership between the patient and caregiver, patient education, guided self-management and treatment goals were introduced. In addition to compiling guidelines and reports for the management of asthma, GINA is actively involved in organizing and coordinating the World Asthma Day, regional initiatives and GINA symposia. On the whole, during the 15 years since their original publication in 1995, the GINA guidelines have provided the basis for many national asthma strategies around the world. This course is most likely to continue in the future. In this paper, the history of the development of the guidelines and other issues regarding the GINA project will be addressed.


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