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Respir Med. 2002 Dec;96(12):993-8.

Short-term effectiveness of an asthma educational program: results of a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Occupational Medicine and Toxicology Section, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.


Asthma educational programs have been shown to reduce the use of emergency room, frequency of severe asthma attacks and hospitalization. However, its effectiveness in other morbidity parameters and on quality of life has yet to be fully understood. This prospective randomized control trial evaluated the effectiveness of a patient education program in 77 asthmatics according to "Teach Your Patients About Asthma: A Clinicians Guide" (1992). Forty asthmatic patientswere randomly allocated to Group A (usual treatment) and 37 to Group B (usual treatment plus a patient education program). The effectiveness of the educational program was evaluated by comparing morbidity outcomes at baseline and 3 months after initial evaluation. At enrolment, the two groups were not different with regard to age, sex, smoking, asthma severity atopy, FEV1, symptom-free days, use of rescue salbutamol and quality of life. Three months later, subjects in Group B showed a significant improvement in the overall quality of life (p < 0.01) and in the "Symptoms"domain (p < 0.01). None of the other parameters (use of rescue salbutamol, symptom-free days, days absent from work or school, FEV1) showed any significant change. After stratification for asthma severity, only subjects with moderate-to-severe asthma showed a significant improvement inthe overall qualityof life (p < 0.05) and in the "Symptoms" (p < 0.01) and 'Activities" (< 0.05) domains. Moreover, in subjects with moderate-to-severe asthma FEV1 value at the 3rd month of follow-up was higher in Group B than in Group A (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the educational program improved the quality of life in asthratic subjects, mainly in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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