Asthma is a chronic disease, which affects up to 20% of children in Ireland. This effects individual patient''s well-being and adds costs to the Health Services. This study examines the use of care pathways in the primary health care setting in Ireland based upon research in 13 general practices in the Dublin area. The research indicates that a strong trend towards the use of self management plans by practice nurses is paralleled by an increasing wish by patients to adopt this approach in order to achieve a level of empowerment and improvement in relation to the condition. However, comparison of the various research approaches indicated the need for specific improvements in the efficiency and continuity of care between the various parts of the health service. This research will contribute to the major changes to approaches to asthma management internationally. It will be of particular interest to practitioners, policy makers and researchers in the primary care sectors of the health service and those interested in chronic disease management.