Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
International Programs: Australia (cont’d)
Evaluation of a community-based asthma management program in a population sample of schoolchildren
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
NSW 2050 Australia
Dr. Brett G. Toelle
95 1 58412
The objective of the "Evaluation of a community-based asthma management program” was to assess the effect of a community-based management program in Sydney, Australia, incorporating both education and treatment directed at children, parents, doctors, pharmacists, community nurses and school teachers.
In order to study the effect of the program the authors looked at a population sample of 65 children with a wide range of morbidity due to asthma and compared them with a control group of 55 children living in a different area. Both groups were re-evaluated concurrently after three and six months.
Children and their parents attended two education sessions (two hours, one-week apart) at the child's school. The first session provided information on the mechanisms of asthma, the possible triggers of an asthma attack, the mode of action of medications, and assessing inhalation technique. Session two covered monitoring airway function, Airflometer use and readings, and using an asthma action plan based on readings.
At three months, the intervention group had a significant improvement in FEV1 and symptoms which limit activity. However, the largest improvements were recorded at the six-month follow up. In the intervention group, bronchial responsiveness and night cough were reduced significantly and FEV1 was improved, compared with both baseline measurements and the control group.
The authors concluded that these improvements in this group of children, many of whom had mild asthma, verify that community-based management programs can be effective in treating childhood asthma.
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