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An audit of a hospital asthma clinic has revealed deficiencies in its educational activities. A significant minority of attending patients failed to understand the rationale behind their therapy and would take potentially inappropriate action when symptoms worsen. Many of those taking oral theophylline therapy were shown to be at risk of self-induced toxicity. Watching a videotape about the disease in the waiting room was found to be more popular than leaflets and books as a source of information.