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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

International Programs: Brazil Back to Index

Evaluation of an Educational Programme for Socially Deprived Asthma

Federal University

Sao Paulo S.P. Brazil CEP

Ana Luisa Godoy Fernandes, MD, PhD

55 11508 41268     


An Educational Programme for Socially Deprived Asthma was conducted at the outpatient Asthma Clinic of the Lung Division, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1996. The aim of the evaluation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the asthma education program in moderate and severe asthma patients in a randomized study with a control group.

Fifty-three asthmatic patients were studied, 26 of whom were assigned to the educational group and 27 to the control group. The patient population was urban, low-income, predominately female, and had a high illiteracy rate. The educational group attended the program regularly for a period of 6 months. The program included information about asthma, instruction on the appropriate use of medication, training in metered dose inhaler (MDI) technique, information about the identification and control of asthma attacks and the recognition of early signs of exacerbation. Education was delivered by healthcare providers in both group and individual sessions and included the use of videos, posters, and other visual aids. The control group was submitted to the routine care provided at the Asthma Clinic, with no formal instruction regarding asthma control.

At the end of the study, the education group showed significant differences when compared with the control group with respect to emergency room visits, asthma symptoms, quality of life, MDI technique, and medication compliance.

The investigators concluded that the educational program led to a significant improvement in asthma morbidity. Furthermore, they concluded that the implementation of educational programs is possible for special populations when these programs are adapted to the socioeconomic profile of the patients, with a significant gain in terms of the reduction of symptoms and improved pulmonary function and quality of life of asthmatics.

This educational program continues to be implemented at the Asthma Clinic and a replication of the program is in progress at another site in Brazil.

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