(2012; 10 pages)
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 asthma control.