Treatable Traits Asthma in Pregnancy Webinar – May 2021


Prof. Vanessa McDonald – Professor of Chronic Disease Nursing at the University of Newcastle School of Nursing and Midwifery, Director of NHMRC Centre of Excellence Asthma Treatable Traits.

Associate Prof. Vanessa Murphy – Associate Professor and MRFF Investigator, Research fellow, School of Medicine and Public Health University of Newcastle.

Prof. Michael Peek – Associate Dean and the Health Precinct Planning, College of health and medicine at Australian national university prof of obstetrics and gynaecology in the school of medicine at the Australian National University.

Presentation Summary

  • Asthma and treatable traits application to a specific population. An introduction to treatable traits, the pulmonary, extrapulmonary and behavioural/risk factors associated with asthma and the effects of a treatable traits approach to treatment.
  • A treatable traits approach for management of asthma in pregnancy and the effects on maternal and infant health.
  • Obstetric considerations for asthma in pregnancy; offering ‘coal face’ suggestions about things we can do to improving outcomes for mothers and babies in asthma.

They discuss

Professor Vanessa McDonald discusses a treatable traits approach, as a progressive model of care for people with asthma. She discusses the individual and multidimensional assessments that that can identify treatable problems, offering individualised asthma care to patients. Prof McDonald discusses studies that have used a treatable traits approach treatment, showing a marked improvement in outcomes such as quality of life and inflammation.

Associate Professor Vanessa Murphy discusses the effects of maternal asthma on perinatal outcomes in pregnancy. She discusses studies that have used a treatable traits approach to managing asthma in pregnancy, noting a decrease in exacerbations (50%), more ICS use but lower doses, less parent reported bronchiolitis or croup and less doctor diagnosed asthma at preschool age.

Professor Michael Peek discusses risks of asthma in pregnancy. He suggests areas of improvement from a clinical perspective, discussing management of asthma in pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and post-natal care.


These presentations offer treatable traits as a model of care approach to individualise asthma treatment in both general asthma populations and across the timeline of pregnancy. A treatable traits approach has been shown to improve patient quality of life, exacerbation rates, and improve post-natal outcomes. Considerations for clinical practice are invaluable across all phases of pregnancy in patients with asthma, both for the mother and fetus.

Content has been reproduced with permission from the Centre of Excellence in Treatable Traits, originally developed as part of the Centre of Excellence in Treatable Traits (