The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A COMPARISON OF TWO ASTHMA EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Stephanie Monteath, CRT, Linda Van Scoder, EdD, RRT; Respiratory Therapy Program, School of Allied Health Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, 46202

Background:
Asthma is a disease that affects an estimated 3-5 million children under the age of 18 and cost approximately 3.2 billion annually to treat. It is for these reasons that this study was performed. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the asthma education programs for two large Indiana hospitals.

Methods:
This study was a descriptive study that used a non-experimental design format. The study consisted of a total of 48 patients, with 24 randomly selected patients from each hospital. The individual emergency room visits and hospitalizations were gathered for each patient during the time frame of August 1999 -- February 2000. An independent t-test was used to compare variables between the two programs and a dependent t-test was used to compare variables within the same program. The confidence interval (CI) was 95% (p£ .05).

Results:
The mean pre- and post-education ER visits and the mean pre- and post-education hospitalizations were calculated for each hospital. Both hospitals had a decrease in post-education ER visits and hospitalizations (Table 1):

Table 1 Comparison of Resource Utilization
Hospital A Hospital B p-value
Mean pre-education ER visits 1.583 0.458 0.000
Mean post-education ER visits 0.250 0.375 0.494
Mean pre-education hospitalizations 1.167 0.792 0.031
Mean post-education hospitalizations 0.042 0.167 0.251

The mean change in ER visits and hospitalizations were also looked at for each hospital. Concerning the mean change in ER visits. Hospital A had an average change of 1.333 and Hospital B had an average change of 0.083 with the p-value = 0.000. Concerning the mean change in hospitalizations, Hospital A had an average change of 1.125 and Hospital B had an average change of 0.792 with the p-value = 0.049.
Conclusion:
Both asthma education programs were effective in decreasing ER visits and hospitalizations. Because patients in each program had significantly different utilization patterns prior to education, we were unable to conclude which program was more effective.

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