JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Evaluation of a structured education program for adult outpatient asthmatics]

C Münks-Lederer, Y Dhein, B Richter, H Worth
Pneumologie 2001, 55 (2): 84-90
11268889

BACKGROUND AND METHODS: The efficacy of a structured education programme (AFAS) unter outpatient conditions was evaluated in a pilot study including 25 mild to severely ill adult asthmatics (age 41 +/- 2 yrs.) over a period of two and a half years. The main teaching items of the programme are: self-control of the disease with regular peak flow measurements, monitoring of symptoms with a patient diary, effects and side effects of the treatment, correct inhalation technique of asthma medication and the ability of self-management with regard to the actual degree of airflow limitation by the patients.

RESULTS: After AFAS the knowledge of the patients regarding the disease as well as the medication increased significantly. There was an improvement of drug therapy: before AFAS only 52% of the patients used inhaled steroids on a regular basis with regard to 96% one and two years after participation of AFAS (p < 0.01). The self-control of the disease was improved: before AFAS no patient measured peak flow during acute dyspnoea, compared with 88% (p < 0.001) and 75% (p < 0.001) one and two years after AFAS, respectively. The number of severe asthma-attacks decreased significantly from 10.7 +/- 2.5 per patient and year before education to 1.3 +/- 0.2 (p < 0.001) after the first year and to 2.0 +/- 0.3 (p < 0.05) after the second year. The total number of hospital days due to asthma decreased from 219 days in the year before the participation in AFAS to zero (p < 0.001) in the first year after the education and to 17 days (p < 0.001) after the second year.

CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of patient education with AFAS is still evident two years after the course, but a reduction of self-control of the disease was observed during the follow-up period. In conclusion, structured education programmes for adult asthmatics can be effective even under outpatient conditions.

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