How to Improve Teaching About Asthma: The Asthma Education Team

Physicians and specialized educators should work as a team to improve the knowledge and selfmanagement skills of asthmatic patients.
Communication between the different members of the treating team and collaboration with health educators should be improved to optimize management of asthma. Experience with diabetes has shown that the success of an education program is often related to interactions within the educating team. There should ideally be a uniform overall approach to asthma management among the different health professionals, based on recent national and international consensus. Conflicting messages can be confusing to the patient. At present, continuing medical education programs tend to separate physician and non physician audiences. A more homogeneous message and approach might result if training programs kept these groups together with occasional satellite sessions to meeting specific professional needs.
Physicians, nurses, and the other professionals working in emergency departments also have an important role in motivating patients to attend education programs and in starting the educational process to try to reduce acute care needs. Mayo et al described this kind of intervention with patients attending an emergency department and found significant improvement, better asthma control, and a reduction in emergency department visits following an asthma education program website canadian neighborhood pharmacy. Other professionals, such as teachers, sport coaches, day care workers, summer camps, counselors, etc, would also benefit from training in asthma management, adapted to their specific needs.
Programs Aimed at Improving Educators’ Skill at Providing Asthma Education
Programs have been developed in different countries and are generally aimed at increasing the knowledge and management skills of primary care physicians or nurses. These training programs are still too few in number; more have to be developed and their value assessed.
Although it is very important to build programs aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skill of related health professionals in health institutions, we must not forget that asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood and also the principal cause of school absenteeism. A program designed to increase the managing skills of medical and nonmedical school personnel has been developed by Eisen-berg and his group in Oregon. Although the program dealt mostly with nonmedical personnel, it was successful in increasing the children’s managing skills as well.

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