The cost and effectiveness of an education program for adults who have asthma

Journal of General Internal Medicine
M B BoltonL R Schultz

Abstract

To determine whether a self-management training program decreases emergency department visits and reduces costs for patients with asthma. Randomized controlled trial of an educational program. Two sites--an urban emergency room and a suburban emergency room. 241 asthma patients between the ages of 18 and 70 years. Of the 119 patients in the intervention group and the 122 in the control group, 185 (76%) were available for follow-up. All patients seen in the emergency departments were given usual medical care and follow-up. Patients in the intervention group were asked to attend three educational sessions on asthma conducted by a specially trained RN. The program stressed importance of medication compliance, methods to control and prevent attacks, effects of drugs and rationale for their use, relaxation exercises, and smoking cessation. All patients received telephone interviews four, eight, and 12 months after entry into the study. Reports based on hospital admissions and emergency room utilization were verified by billing records. Three patients died during the study, none from asthma-related problems. The intervention group had significantly fewer asthma-related emergency visits (16 visits per 100 persons) than did the control...Continue Reading

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