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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

International Programs: NorwayBack to Index

Impact of Patient Education and Self-Management on Morbidity in Asthmatics and Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Central Hospital of Vest-Agder

4604 Kristiansand Norway

Frode Gallefoss, MD, PhD


The Effects of Patient Education in Asthma and COPD was a randomized controlled trial aimed to explore the effects and health economic consequences of patient education in patients with asthma and patients with COPD.  The study was carried out by Central Hospital of Vest-Agder in Kristiansand, Norway.

One hundred and forty patients aged 18-70 with mild to moderate asthma or COPD were randomly allocated to an intervention group or a control group after the patients in both groups had received ordinary consultation care. The intervention group participated in two two-hour group educational sessions, followed by one to two individual nurse and physiotherapist consultations. Self-management was emphasized following a stepwise treatment plan for exacerbations.

Follow-up assessments were performed after 12 months.

The patient education in asthmatics compared with no education at a 12-month follow-up improved health-related quality of life and FEV1, improved steroid inhaler compliance, reduced the number of days off work, and was cost-effective by improving health outcomes and reducing costs. For both patients with asthma and those with COPD, patient education reduced the need for GP visits in the 12-month follow-up. For patients with COPD rescue medication was reduced and education was cost-beneficial with 5 dollars saved in the societal perspective (total costs) for every dollar spent on education.

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