Evaluation of an educational program for asthma control in adults

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deOliveira, M. A.
Bruno, V. F.
Ballini, L. S.
BritoJardim, JR
Fernandes, ALG
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We have developed a 6-month educational plan associated with outpatient follow-up and special clinical care for asthmatic patients in a deprived population, with serious socioeconomic problems and a very low level of education. the objective was to determine the effects of the program on clinical asthma outcomes, lung function, and quality of life. Forty patients were enrolled in the program with a regular schedule of outpatient visits, and 31 finished the 6-month intervention, which included information about asthma, instruction in appropriate use of medication, training in metered-dose inhaler technique, how to identify and control asthma triggers, how to use symptom diary cards, and how to recognize early signs of deterioration. Patients included 8 males and 23 females, 47.8 +/- 16.5 years old, with 77.4% elementary school education and 22.6% illiterate, and an average monthly income of around $450. After the 6-month program there was a significant change in asthma control with a reduction in asthma emergency visits and hospitalizations, reduction of score symptoms, and improvement in quality of life. Based on the results, educational programs are recommended and should be adapted to the socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of the target population.
Journal of Asthma. New York: Marcel Dekker Inc, v. 34, n. 5, p. 395-403, 1997.