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J Bras Pneumol. 2007 Jan-Feb;33(1):15-9.

Impact that a program to control severe asthma has on the use of Unified Health System resources in Brazil.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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First Referral Outpatient Clinic, ProAR, Bahia State Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis Control Program, Salvador, BA, Brazil.



To quantify the use of health care resources among patients enrolled in the Bahia State Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis Control Program.


As of January of 2006, 1405 patients had enrolled in the program, which is carried out in four referral centers in the city of Salvador. These patients formed the basis of this retrospective/prospective, observational cohort study. The preliminary analysis involved 269 consecutive patients, all above the age of 12 and diagnosed with severe asthma. After being seen by pulmonologists, nurses, pharmacologists and psychologists, the patients received inhaled asthma medications. Based on patient interviews and charts, the year preceding enrollment in the program was compared with the first year enrolled in the program in terms of the following quantifiable parameters: hospital admissions; emergency room visits; courses of oral corticosteroids; and days of school/work missed due to asthma attacks.


In this sample of patients with severe asthma, enrollment in the program resulted in significant reductions in the number of emergency room visits and hospital admissions (of 85% and 90%, respectively). There were also reductions in the number of school/work days missed due to asthma attacks and in the number of courses of oral corticosteroids (of 86% and 67%, respectively).


A program designed to control severe asthma in referral outpatient clinics and including pharmacological services at no charge can lead to a pronounced reduction in the demand for Unified Health Care System resources.

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