New Approach in Asthma Control

Photo: Asthma inhaler

Many asthma patients use an inhaler
to control their disease; © SXC

One study found that 74 percent of adolescents with asthma dramatically overestimate their ability to control the condition, according to Maria Britto, M.D., MPH, a physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s and study co-author. The study included 201 adolescents with an average age of 16.2 years who were observed during clinical visits. The findings suggest that adolescents’ perception of being in control may impact whether or not they follow treatment regimens and avoid situations that trigger their condition.

Improved care for asthma patients was also the subject of a second study at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. This study found that a creative approach referred to as “unplanned planned asthma visits” resulted in young patients having fewer emergency room and hospital visits. The approach involves physicians discussing asthma with patients every time they come for an office visit, even if those visits are scheduled for totally unrelated reasons.

During these visit, patients undergo asthma control screening, condition assessment and receive education on asthma self-management. The visit is turned into an opportunity to assess and manage the patient’s asthma. Correct medications and effective self management result in an overall improvement in asthma quality measures and patient outcomes.

In a study group of 230 asthma patients followed during the program, the researchers noted a 30-percent increase in patients with established asthma treatment action plans. The program also led to a 50-percent reduction in asthma hospitalizations and a 47 percent decrease in asthma related emergency room visits over a one-year period.; Source: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center