Asthma is an important health priority affecting around 11% of the population.1 The majority of patients with asthma seen in general practice are reported to have uncontrolled symptoms2 and poor knowledge and skills in their asthma management, medication use and device technique.3
This study trialled the outcome for
asthma patients of a brief, nurse led,
patient education session with general
practice review of an Asthma Action Plan.
Prospective cohort with before-after
measures conducted in six rural general
practices. Outcome measures were
changes over 12 months in self reported
asthma control, quality of life, device use,
and unscheduled general practice and
emergency department visits for asthma
Eighty-three patients participated. Mean
asthma control score decreased but
did not reach statistical significance
(p=0.124). Quality of life improved for
adults (Wilcoxon rank signed test for
two related samples p<0.001). The
proportion of patients who had one or
more unscheduled visits to their general
practitioner over 12 months decreased
from 23% to 13% (p=0.178) and
emergency department presentations
decreased from 9% to 4% (p=0.102).
Structured general practice based
education appears to be an effective
preventive health care program, with
the potential to reduce expensive
unscheduled use of health services.
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