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Prim Care Respir J. 2011 Mar;20(1):84-91. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2011.00003.

Paediatric asthma outpatient care by asthma nurse, paediatrician or general practitioner: randomised controlled trial with two-year follow-up.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Amphia Hospital, Breda, Noord Brabant, The Netherlands.



For children with stable asthma, to test non-inferiority of care provided by a hospital-based specialised asthma nurse versus a general practitioner (GP) or paediatrician.


Randomised controlled trial evaluating standard care by a GP, paediatrician or an asthma nurse, with two-year follow-up.


107 children were recruited, 45 from general practice and 62 from hospital. After two years, no significant differences between groups were found for airway responsiveness, FEV1, asthma control, medication, school absence or parental work absence. In the general practice group there was a significantly lower frequency of regular review visits ('regular' = at least one review per six months) compared to the paediatrician and specialised asthma nurse group, both after one year [45.7% versus 87.9% and 94.3%, respectively, (p<0.0005)] and after two years [26.5% versus 87.9% and 75.8%, respectively, (p<0.0005)]. We found no significant differences in unplanned visits. In most cases the asthma nurse was able to provide care without consultation with the paediatrician.


The degree of disease control in stable childhood asthma managed by an asthma nurse is not inferior to traditional management by primary or secondary care physicians. The results also suggest that a lower review frequency does not detract from good disease control.

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