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Thorax. Oct 2003; 58(10): 851–854.
PMCID: PMC1746491

Can a self-management programme delivered by a community pharmacist improve asthma control? A randomised trial


Background: No randomised studies have addressed whether self-management for asthma can be successfully delivered by community pharmacists. Most randomised trials of asthma self-management have recruited participants from secondary care; there is uncertainty regarding its effectiveness in primary care. A randomised controlled study was undertaken to determine whether a community pharmacist could improve asthma control using self-management advice for individuals recruited during attendance at a community pharmacy.

Methods: Twenty four adults attending a community pharmacy in Tower Hamlets, east London for routine asthma medication were randomised into two groups: the intervention group received self-management advice from the pharmacist with weekly telephone follow up for 3 months and the control group received no input from the pharmacist. Participants self-completed the North of England asthma symptom scale at baseline and 3 months later.

Results: The groups were well matched at baseline for demographic characteristics and mean (SD) symptom scores (26.3 (4.8) and 27.8 (3.7) in the intervention and control groups, respectively). Symptom scores improved in the intervention group and marginally worsened in the control group to 20.3 (4.2) and 28.1 (3.5), respectively (p<0.001; difference adjusted for baseline scores = 7.0 (95% CI 4.4 to 9.5).

Conclusions: A self-management programme delivered by a community pharmacist can improve asthma control in individuals recruited at a community pharmacy. Further studies should attempt to confirm these findings using larger samples and a wider range of outcome measures.

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Selected References

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