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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

International Programs: Canada (cont’d)Back to Index

The Effect of a Peak Flow-Based Action Plan in the Prevention of Exacerbations of Asthma

Foothills Hospital and University of Calgary

T2N4N1 Canada

Robert L. Cowie, MD, MSc

(403) 220-8859         

cowie@ucalgary.ca

"The Effect of a Peak Flow-Based Action Plan in the Prevention of Exacerbations of Asthma" was a randomized controlled trial conducted in 1994 by the Calgary Asthma Program of the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The goal of the study was to determine the effect of a symptom-based and a peak flow-based action plan in preventing acute exacerbations in adult and adolescent subjects with poorly controlled asthma (age 16-60).

150 subjects who had required urgent treatment for their asthma received an evaluation and 30-60 minutes of basic asthma education from a nurse-clinician before being randomly allocated to receive no action plan, a symptom-based plan, or a peak flow-based action plan. Subjects were assessed by questionnaire at 3 and 6 months after enrollment with questions relating to their asthma control and their need for urgent treatment or hospital admission for asthma.

Evaluation results revealed that a peak flow-based action plan is effective, at least in the short term, in protecting patients with asthma against severe exacerbations, in those subjects with a history of severe asthma exacerbations.

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