Evaluation of a program for asthmatic children treated in primary care outpatient units in Embu, São Paulo, 1988-1993

Cadernos de saúde pública
R N VenturaE M K Silva


The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Program Targeting Children with 'Chest Wheezing' carried in the city of Embu, São Paulo. The study analyzed a total of 434 children aged zero to 14 years, admitted to the program from May 1988 to July 1993. Over 90% had never been treated for this medical problem in outpatient clinics. Only 6.2% had to be referred to other health care services during follow-up in this program. The program successfully performed clinical diagnosis of asthma in children over 2 years of age. The moderate and severe cases followed up for over a year showed the best clinical evolution, with the positive factor being better compliance with medication. The number of exacerbations decreased among the severe patients after a year of regular follow-up, although patients used bronchodilators during the 12 months of our analysis. Of the children enrolled, 53.2% gave up treatment principally in the first six months, most of them from the moderate group. We concluded that children with steadier compliance with the program benefited in spite of both the simplicity and the lack of some currently existing medications.


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