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Asthmatic Adults Don't Gain From Education After ER Visit

But pediatric patients may benefit

WEDNESDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive education program aimed at asthma patients who have visited an emergency room for treatment isn't an effective way to prevent relapse in adults, but may benefit children, according to the results of a randomized trial published in the July issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Michael D. Brown, M.D., and colleagues at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., studied 239 patients, of which 46 percent were adults, who had emergency treatment for moderate to severe asthma. Patients were randomly assigned to usual care, or a comprehensive program with a trained nurse-educator who helped arrange a visit to a primary care physician and made a home visit to discuss treatment. Six-month follow-up information on 80 percent of the patients was analyzed.

Overall, 23 percent of the intervention group and 31 percent of the usual-care group had an urgent asthma visit. Thirty-nine percent of patients assigned to the intervention group didn't comply with any of the education activities, although a subgroup analysis suggested that children may benefit more from the education program (hazard ratio, 0.62).

"Further research on alternative asthma-education delivery strategies appears warranted to reduce the burden of asthma visits to the emergency department," the authors conclude. "In addition, a more efficient approach to the provision of a comprehensive asthma-education program to children who have had emergency department visits should be explored in future studies."

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