Hospital-based Asthma Education: Conclusions
It is clear from the foregoing that we must increase the emphasis on asthma self-management to minimize morbidity, mortality, and health-care costs. It is apparent that with the right programs, most patients can be taught to assume self-care over the long term, including not only the ability to achieve optimum control but also to respond appropriately early in the course of exacerbations and to continue to deal with these even in the face of deterioration. To accomplish this, patients must have the appropriate medications on hand at all times (including systemic steroids) as well as an action plan in writing to avoid confusion and ensure implementation at every stage.
Some programs appear much more effective than others, but it is still unclear what aspects of these programs are most useful and should therefore be emphasized and which aspects are less useful and should perhaps be deemphasized or dropped. Canadian pharmacy Here Thus, physicians and other health-care professionals such as nurses, respiratory technologists, and health-care educators should take the initiative in preparing patients for self-care using a variety of techniques and then fine tuning patients’ understanding and knowledge at times of follow-up in the clinic, ED, or on hospital wards.
Because they provide a captive audience with more time than people usually can provide during often hectic daily lives, time spent in the ED and on hospital wards might be used most effectively to educate patients in self-care and so avoid similar future exacerbations. The impact of such hospital-based programs might be greater because of the recent memory of the discomfort and disruption of patients’ lives by the asthma exacerbation.
It is certainly evident that much more research is required to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve patient self-care in a variety of settings and using a variety of teaching methods. Such programs will doubtless be developed and refined over the next few years because it is evident that they have the potential for reducing the cost of health care and improving patients’ quality of life.