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J Bras Pneumol. 2011 Jan-Feb;37(1):19-27.

Impact of a short-term educational intervention on adherence to asthma treatment and on asthma control.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Department of Internal Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul-UFRGS, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul-School of Medicine, Porto Alegre, Brazil.



To evaluate the effect of a short-term individualized education program on adherence to asthma treatment, inhalation techniques, and asthma control.


A prospective study involving patients aged 14 years or older, with a confirmed diagnosis of asthma and recruited from the asthma outpatient clinic of a university hospital in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. The study was conducted in two phases (before and after the educational intervention). At a routine medical visit, the participants completed a general questionnaire in order to assess the level of asthma control and inhalation techniques. The participants also underwent pulmonary function testing. Subsequently, they participated in an asthma education program, which consisted of one individualized session. The participants were reevaluated after three months.


Of the 174 patients recruited, 115 completed the study. Between the first and second evaluations, there was a significant improvement in the effective use of inhaled corticosteroids (90.4% vs. 93.3%; p = 0.003), the effective use of long-acting β2 agonists (57.4% vs. 63.5%; p < 0.0001), the effective use of a combined regimen with these two medications (57.4% vs. 62.6%; p < 0.0001), and the self-reported adherence to corticosteroid therapy (p = 0.001). There was a significant decrease in the proportion of patients visiting ERs (30.4% vs. 23.5%; p = 0.012). However, the level of asthma control and the inhalation technique did not improve significantly (p = 0.095 and p = 0.512, respectively).


This short-term asthma education program resulted in an improvement in the use of medications for asthma control and a decrease in the number of ER visits, although it had no significant effect on the inhalation technique.

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