Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
International Programs: Canada (cont’d)
Community Asthma Care Education Centre (AEC) Program
K7L 3N6 Canada
Wilma Hopman, MA
Community asthma care centers have been introduced to meet the increasing need for community-based assessment, management, and education of patients with asthma. The Asthma Education Centre at Oakville-Trafalgar Hospital, in Ontario, Canada, has implemented a comprehensive assessment, treatment, and education program with a collection of relevant patient data. Asthma patients of all ages are eligible.
In both the initial and one-year follow-up visit, 121 patients were seen. The patient population was assessed by age cohorts: 43 patients were aged 0-5 years, 47 were aged 6-16 years, and 31 were aged greater than 16 years. (There was a 24-month follow-up also carried out for a subset of 113 patients).
At an initial visit patient data was collected and education was provided. After two weeks, the patient returned to the Asthma Education Centre for reassessment visits to build on the assessment and educational topics and to determine additional needs. Visits continued until the patient's asthma was controlled. An asthma action plan was developed and reviewed by the patient's physician who was also updated on the patient's progress. Patients were then seen at three- and six- month intervals.
Results measured from baseline to one year and 24 months post include a decrease in night awakenings in the previous four weeks, a decrease in emergency visits in the previous six months, and a decrease in hospitalizations in the previous six months, and a decrease in missed school/work days. All the differences were statistically significant.
The findings presented in this article suggest that these specific education and treatment programs are associated with not only significant reductions in the use of health services, but improvements in health outcomes as well.
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