Background: Denial of having a chronic condition, poor knowledge of the
disease process and lack of adherence to standard treatment are often considered
to be important factors that increase morbidity in asthma. We evaluated the effect of standard treatment guidelines
and asthma education programme on asthma control among patients enrolled from a
referral health facility of Delhi in India.
Methods: Fifty patients who visited the health facility first time for
treatment of asthma were enrolled after confirming the diagnosis of asthma by
symptoms and reversible spirometry. Patients were interviewed at baseline using
three researcher-administered questionnaires - quality of asthma management
questionnaire, asthma control questionnaire (ACQ) and asthma knowledge questionnaire (AKQ). All patients were given pharmacotherapy according to
standard treatment guidelines. In addition, every alternate patient was also
given a face-to-face educational intervention. Patients were followed up at 2,
4, 8 and 12 weeks. The ACQ was used at each visit, and AKQ was reassessed at the twelfth week. The paired t test was used to detect significant
changes in various domains of asthma control.
Results: The knowledge of asthma among patients and the care provided by
previous health-care providers were found to be poor at baseline assessment. The
application of standard treatment guidelines improved asthma control by the second week and the changes became
significant by the fourth week, which persisted till the twelfth week (p<0.0001). Educational intervention led to improvements in knowledge in several domains. Improvements in asthma symptoms
began earlier among those who had additional educational intervention.
Conclusions: Standard treatment guidelines and asthma education improved