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Prabhakaran L, Lim G, Abisheganaden J, Chee CBE, Choo YM
Correspondence: Ms Lathy Prabhakaran, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction We conducted a study to assess the impact of an asthma education programme (AEP) on knowledge of asthma and medication, compliance to treatment and inhaler technique, emergency department visits and hospital re-admissions.
Methods Patients hospitalised for asthma exacerbation were administered a questionnaire to test their baseline knowledge and beliefs on asthma, its medications and their compliance to treatment. Their inhaler technique was assessed. They then underwent an AEP consisting of two individualised education sessions. Re-testing was performed after three months. Per protocol approach and McNemar's test was used to analyse the statistical significance of the change in the pre- and post-AEP test scores. Hospital administrative data were used to determine the number of ED visits and hospital admissions pre- and post-AEP.
Results Among the 67 patients who completed the two-phase AEP, there was significant improvement in some knowledge aspects (ability to identify rescue medication [p-value is 0.031], that different stimuli can trigger asthma symptoms [p-value is 0.016], that a peak flow meter is used for monitoring asthma [p-value is 0.004], that asthma symptoms are caused by airway swelling/narrowing [p-value is less than 0.001], that steroid inhaler are to be used daily as preventive therapy [p-value is less than 0.001], in self-reported inhaler compliance (number of puffs per administration [p-value is less than 0.001] and per day [p-value is less than 0.001]), and in inhaler technique [p-value is 0.001]. There was also significant reduction in emergency department attendances (p-value is less than 0.001) and hospital admissions (p-value is less than 0.001) among all 97 subjects over a one-year period.
Conclusion This study demonstrated the effectiveness of an AEP in patients hospitalised for asthma exacerbation.
Keywords: asthma, asthma education programme, emergency department, inhaler, patient knowledge
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(3): 225-231