ACAAI: Discharge Benefits Seen From Asthma Educators

In other research, case management linked to fewer asthma symptoms in New York children
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The use of certified asthma nurse educators may help improve adherence to guideline recommendations for discharging children hospitalized with asthma, and an intensive case management program is associated with fewer asthma-related symptoms and health care utilization, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Miami Beach, Fla.

Bruce Nickerson, M.D., of the Children's Hospital of Orange County in California, and colleagues analyzed data from 199 charts of patients hospitalized in 2007 to retrospectively assess provider discharge plans. Fifty-five percent of cases were seen by a certified asthma nurse educator. These cases were more likely to have a peak-flow meter provided (100 versus 60 percent) and a spacer (100 versus 74 percent), and showed a trend toward more asthma action plans and prescriptions of inhaled corticosteroids.

Andrew Goodman, M.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and colleagues analyzed data from 68 children enrolled in the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence for at least a year. At baseline, 63 percent had two or more emergency department visits in the previous year, compared to 12 percent during the follow-up period. Both day and night symptoms were also less common after follow-up than at baseline.

"This education session provided by the certified asthma nurse educator had an impact on provider discharge plans with a greater percentage following National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Guideline recommendations than in the control group. As a result of the study, changes are in progress to include direct communication with the physician," conclude the authors of the first study.

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