Swanson V, Wright S, Power KG, Duncan B, Morgan J, Turner E & Gordon D (2000) The impact of a structured programme of asthma care in general practice. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 54 (9), pp. 573-580.
The impact of a new GP programme of asthma care was examined using: a) a retrospective pre- and post-casenote survey of 400 asthma patients, comparing patients in practices using the health board programme (HBP) and other programmes (OP); and b) a patient satisfaction questionnaire, completed by 532 people on asthma clinic lists in HBP and OP practices. Outcomes assessed were health service use, perceived change in symptoms and asthma self-management. The casenote survey indicated improved health service use by patients in HBP practices, with fewer patient-initiated (p<0.05), emergency (p<0.05) and other chest-related attendances (p<0.01) and increased clinic attendance (p<0.05) post intervention. OP practices also showed reduced patient-initiated (p<0.01) and increased asthma clinic use (p<0.01). Increased use of management plans (p<0.01) and peak flow diaries (p<0.01) was noted post intervention for HBP practices. Responders to the questionnaire survey perceived that clinic attendance improved asthma symptoms, including severity and control, sleep disturbance and early morning wheeze. People in HBP practices were more likely than those in OP practices to possess a peak flow meter, a diary and a personal management plan (all p<0.01 or above) but were not more likely to use a peak flow diary notwithstanding methodological difficulties in the selection of practices, both studies showed trends towards improvement in health service use and asthma self-management. The HBP was associated with greater improvement in self-management processes and outcomes, and greater patient satisfaction with asthma care.
patient education; morbidity; guidelines
International Journal of Clinical Practice: Volume 54, Issue 9