Hospital-based Asthma Education: Goals of Hospital-Based Asthma Education Programs

A limitation of initiating educational activities to patients in this setting is that they are initially too sick to be receptive; however, most patients who are eventually discharged home have improved markedly within the first 60 to 90 min of arriving in the ED after which they are usually kept for at least another 30 to 60 min to make sure that their condition is stable before being discharged. That period would allow an excellent “window of opportunity” in which to initiate an asthma education program that could then be continued as an outpatient at follow-up visits. Furthermore, if patients are admitted to the hospital because they are not well enough to be discharged after a relatively short time in the ED, the same window of opportunity usually exists for 1 or 2 days towards the end of their hospital stay when they are rapidly improving clinically, no longer particularly breathless, and yet not quite ready to be discharged home.
Training people with chronic disease to take care of themselves has been well proved in the management of other conditions, particularly diabetes mel-litus.
The ultimate goal should be the “cure” or control of asthma over the long term, reduction of exacerbations (to zero if possible), with the resulting decrease in physician visits, ED visits, hospitalization, and death.
It should be possible to accomplish these goals by empowering patients to undertake ongoing self-care, and in the pediatric age group, training the family to assume this responsibility until children are able to do it for themselves. Flovent inhalers further This in turn would result in a greater degree of skill and comfort with self-care (internal locus of control), leading to a reduction of overall anxiety and ultimately a reduction in the cost of health care. Education of patients can be undertaken by their own physician, by a variety of other knowledgeable physicians making appropriate use of the print or electronic media, and by nurses, respiratory technologists, school teachers, lung associations, and asthma self-help groups, etc. Often these various agents act collaboratively to potentiate and reinforce the benefits provided by each one of them. Such education for self-care can take place in a variety of locations, including hospital wards and EDs, outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices, in schools, or at locations arranged by local lung associations and self-help groups.

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