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J Asthma. 2012 Feb;49(1):23-8. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2011.637596. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Impact of delay in asthma diagnosis on chest X-ray and antibiotic utilization by clinicians.

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1
Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effect of the timeliness of asthma diagnosis on chest X-ray (CXR) and antibiotic utilization in children.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

This was a retrospective cohort study of 276 asthmatic children aged 5-12 years from Rochester, Minnesota. From the time when children met our predetermined asthma criteria, the frequency of CXR and antibiotic utilizations for respiratory illnesses were collected from medical records until age 18 years. Using a Poisson regression model, the frequency of CXR and antibiotic utilizations were compared in children with timely, delayed, or no clinician diagnosis of asthma.

RESULTS:

Of the 276 asthmatic patients, 97 (35%) had a timely diagnosis, 122 (44%) had a delayed diagnosis, while 57 patients (21%) had no clinician diagnosis of asthma. There was no significant difference in CXR or antibiotic utilization for respiratory illness between these groups. In addition, this was true for the comparison between the timely diagnosed group and the delayed diagnosed group combining both the group with a delay in asthma diagnosis and the group who never had asthma diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

A delay in the diagnosis of asthma in children is common and overall it may not influence antibiotic and CXR utilization for respiratory symptoms by clinicians. However, its impact on access to asthma-related therapies and other healthcare utilizations could be possible and was not assessed in this study. Given the limitations of our study, a larger prospective study needs to be considered.

PMID:
22149172
PMCID:
PMC3433831
DOI:
10.3109/02770903.2011.637596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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