[The effect of patient education in asthma, a randomized controlled trial].

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 2002 Nov;122(28):2702-6

Lungeseksjonen Medisinsk avdeling Vest-Agder sykehus 4604 Kristiansand.

Background: Our aim was to evaluate costs and consequences of patient education in asthmatics in a twelve-month follow-up.

Material And Methods: 78 asthmatics were randomly allocated to a control or intervention group after having received ordinary outpatient care. Intervention consisted of two two-hour group sessions followed by one or two individual sessions administered by a nurse and a physiotherapist. Self-management was emphasised. Visits to the doctor, prescribed drugs, hospital admissions, travel costs, time costs, and educational costs were recorded.

Results: In a twelve-month follow-up, patient education resulted in approximately a 70% reduction in GP visits and days off work due to asthma as well roughly a doubling of proportions with satisfactory steroid inhaler compliance compared to no education. Patient education also improved lung function (FEV1) by 6%, and it improved quality of life. The control and intervention groups had mean total costs of NOK16,000 and 10,500 per patient respectively. A 5% improvement in FEV1 in the intervention group was associated with savings of NOK 4,500 compared to the control group. The number needed to educate (NNE) to make one person symptom free was associated with savings of NOK 12,200.

Interpretation: Patient education in asthmatics in a twelve-month follow-up improved patient outcomes and reduced costs.

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November 2002
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