Education Is Key

FEBRUARY 01, 2005

In an attempt to reduce the number of individuals needing emergency department (ED) treatment for asthma, researchers have found that an asthma education program is beneficial. The researchers developed a program to increase asthma education referrals by ED personnel. A total of 600 nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians from 9 centers participated in a 3-hour training session.

Four months after the program's inception, 1104 patients were referred to an educational program, compared with 110 for the same period the prior year. During the follow-up, 16.1% of the patients refused the intervention. On the other hand, 68.9% made appointments, and 72.8% of these scheduled patients kept their appointments. Implementation of the program had its difficulties, however. Some ED personnel reported lack of time, problems incorporating the measures into their routines, and lack of resources.