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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: Michigan (cont'd)Back to Index

The Cost and Effectiveness of an Educational Program for Adults Who Have Asthma

Henry Ford Hospital

Detroit, MI

Mary Beth Bolton, MD

(313) 872-8100         

This randomized controlled trial of an educational program for adults with asthma was delivered at two sites: an urban emergency room and a suburban emergency room. The objective of the study was to determine whether a self-management training program decreases emergency department visits and reduces costs for patients with asthma.

241 asthma patients between the ages of 18 and 70 years were enrolled in the program, with 119 in the intervention group and 122 in the control group, and a total of 185 available for follow up.

All patients seen in the emergency departments were given usual medical care and follow-up. Patients in the intervention group were asked to attend three educational sessions on asthma conducted by a specially trained RN. The program stressed importance of medication compliance, methods to control and prevent attacks, effects of drugs and rationale for their use, relaxation exercises, and smoking cessation.

All patients received telephone interviews 4, 8, and 12 months after entry into the study. Reports based on hospital admissions and emergency room utilization were verified by billing records. The intervention group had significantly fewer asthma-related emergency visits than did the control group over the 12 months of follow-up. This effect was strongest during the initial four months post intervention.

The study authors concluded that education enables patients with asthma to decrease utilization of emergency services.

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