Initiative improves asthma outcomes in teens

Jan. 27, 2014 at 10:29 PM
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CINCINNATI, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- An asthma improvement initiative conducted by primary care physicians dramatically improved asthma outcomes for high-risk teens, U.S. researchers say.

Senior author Dr. Maria Britto, director of the Center for Innovation in Chronic Disease Care at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues said from 2007 to 2011, they on focused improvement efforts on 322 primary care patients, all of whom had asthma.

However, only 10 percent had optimally well-controlled asthma, but by August 2009, 30 percent had well-controlled asthma and remained optimal well-controlled over time.

"Improving asthma is particularly difficult for teenagers, whose adherence to treatment is often poor and outcomes worse than those of younger patients," Britto said in a statement.

"We were able to achieve sustained improvement in patients whose chronic asthma is not well-controlled by implementing a package of chronic care interventions. These included standardized and evidence-based care; self-management support, such as self-monitoring by using diaries and journals; care coordination and active outreach among healthcare providers; linking these teens to community resources; and following-up with patients whose chronic asthma is not well-controlled."

The initiative resulted in nearly 100 percent of patients receiving an evidence-based care bundle of tools to control their asthma, which included an action plan and controller medications at the most recent doctor visit. Prior to the initiative, only 38 percent had received this same bundle.

In addition, 90 percent of patients also received a self-management bundle of tools, including a patient self-assessment. Formal self-management support had not been in place prior to the initiative.

The study was published online in the journal Pediatrics.

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