The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

DoesAsthma Education Improve Outcomes in Hospitalized Asthma Patients?

William F. Bria,M.D., Diane White, RRT University of Michigan Health Systems,Ann Arbor, Michigan

INTRODUCTION:Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory condition in the United Statestoday. Asthma statistics and asthma related deaths continuing to rise each year.With this in mind, the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) implementedan Adult Asthma Education Program in February 2001; to measure the impact ofan asthma disease management education program (ADM) has on improving outcomesin hospitalized asthma patients. OBJECTIVE: To improve patient education,decrease health resource utilization, and to offer the unique opportunity formedical students to participate directly with chronic disease management underthe guidance of respiratory care and attending physician staff. The model ofthis inpatient patient education program was targeted to intervene with thepatient at the ?teachable moment? i.e.: hospitalization where upon the patienthas recognized that their current asthma management practices have failed.

Methods: The UMHS asthmaeducation program consists of a one-hour education intervention utilizing thirdand fourth year medical students as the primary patient educators. Patientscomplete initial and follow-up self reported surveys identifying previous asthmamanagement experience, missed days from work and school, overall health resourceutilization, and overall patient satisfaction with asthma management. The resultsof the 34 patients we have educated to date are listed in the table below.


ParameterInitial3 weeks3 months
Prior asthma managment434
Emergency roomvisits741
Unscheduled officevisits502
Days spent ill19060
Days out of work/school361122
Asthma control-poor120

Patient satisfactionwith Asthma Management - very satisfied 67%

CONCLUSION: As we continueto obtain data, we conclude that patient education of chronic disease managementwith the inclusion of written patient self-management plans can impact on improvedpatient outcomes and satisfaction, decrease in health resource utilization,and provide a valuable learning experience for medical students on disease managementthrough the utilization of patient education and implementation of patient self-managementplans. We found in this study alone, nearly ninety percent of all the patientshad no written asthma management or action plan prior to the hospital asthmaeducation intervention. Further study into this subject could enhance the qualityof life of other asthmatics through the implementation of hospitalized asthmaeducation programs with written patient self-management plans utilizing medicalstudents as primary patient educators at a ?teachable moment? when a patienthas realized that current asthma management has failed.


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