Patrick D Byrnes
The prevalence of asthma is high in
Australia. Despite national guidelines
recommending the use of an Asthma
Action Plan only 22.5% of people with
asthma had a plan in 2004–2005.
To ascertain the effect on attendance
for an annual Asthma Cycle of Care
resulting in an Asthma Action Plan,
a retrospective audit was conducted
looking at the 4 years commencing
July 2005 of an asthma clinic in a
group general practice in Bundaberg,
Queensland, of 1 year of active
recruitment (via telephone) from a
database, and subsequent 3 years
of opportunistic recruitment using a
‘no asthma plan – no repeat script’
policy in conjunction with recall. The
practice population in 2005 was 2941
standardised whole patient equivalents
including 243 asthmatics on preventers.
The main outcome measure was the
number of patients completing an
annual Asthma Cycle of Care.
Completion of an annual Asthma Cycle
of Care increased from a baseline of
30% (preclinic starting) to 38% at year
1, 64% at year 2, fell back to 45% at
year 3, and rose to 59% at end year
4, with nearly all cycles of care being
completed via the asthma clinic.
Opportunistic recruitment addressing
therapeutic inertia combined with recall
may be more effective than active
recruitment via telephone.
The prevalence of asthma is high in Australia compared with other countries, affecting 14–16% of children and 10–12% of adults.1 Rates of hospitalisations over the past 10 years have decreased.1 Since the 1990s, mortality due to asthma has also decreased by 50%.1 Attendance at hospital emergency departments however, did not alter from 1999 to 2004.1
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