Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
International Programs: Italy
Short-term effectiveness of an asthma educational program: results of a randomized controlled trial
University of Perugia
06126 Perugia Italy
Alessandra Marabini, MD
This prospective randomized control trial in Perugia, Italy evaluated the effectiveness of a patient education program in 77 asthmatics according to "Teach Your Patients About Asthma: A Clinicians Guide" (1992).
Forty asthmatic patients were randomly allocated to Group A (usual treatment) and 37 to Group B (usual treatment plus a patient education program). Subjects in Group B participated in three two-hour education sessions. These sessions included general information on asthma, medications, use of inhalers and peak flows, identifying warning signs, avoidance and reduction of trigger exposure, and developing asthma action plans. Subjects were followed every three months during the first year and every six months in the second and third year for educational reinforcement.
The effectiveness of the educational program was evaluated by comparing morbidity outcomes at baseline and three months after initial evaluation. At enrollment, the two groups were not different with regard to age, sex, smoking, asthma severity atopy, FEV1, symptom-free days, use of rescue salbutamol and quality of life. Three months later, subjects in Group B showed a significant improvement in overall quality of life (p < 0.01).
In conclusion, the educational program improved the quality of life in subjects with asthma, mainly in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma.
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