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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

International Programs: IsraelBack to Index

Outcomes of an Intervention Programme for Treatment of Asthma in a Primary Care Clinic for Bedouins in Southern Israel

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Beer-Sheva Israel

Roni Peleg, MD

pelegr@bgumail.bgu.ac.il

Asthma is one of the most common disorders affecting children and adults. There is a large variation in the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills of physicians, and patients often do not receive optimal treatment. Thus, asthma represents a great challenge to the primary health care system.

The authors' aimed to evaluate an intervention program for the optimization of treatment of asthma in a primary care clinic in the Muslim Bedouin sector in southern Israel.

Activities focused on improving living conditions, cleanliness and hygiene. Topics included use of medication and space chambers, general information on asthma, allergens/triggers, and use of nebulizers. There was also a health fair for patients and families and ongoing instruction by the clinic staff. The health fair included education on the above topics and viewing an asthma video.

Of 3428 children registered in the clinic, 267 were diagnosed with asthma (7.8%). During the 3-month period before the intervention, 73 children had home inhalation equipment, 61 referrals to the emergency room were documented and six children were hospitalized for exacerbation or complications of the disease. Over this time period, 5.54 nebulizer treatments were conducted in the clinic per month per 100 children and adults. Following the intervention, the number of referrals to the emergency was reduced to six children, none of whom was hospitalized. The number of children with home nebulizers was doubled. The number of nebulizer treatments in the clinic dropped to 4.7 per month per 100, a reduction of 15%.

The authors concluded that an intervention including asthma self-management with an emphasis on the proper use of inhalers and medications, together with improved disease management at the clinic itself, led to a reduction in the episodes of asthma and its complications.

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