Background The impact of severe asthma upon quality of life is significant, as a consequence of unpredictable hospitalisations and life-threatening attacks. It is unknown whether patient education programmes in severe asthma improve self-management, quality of life or measures of asthma control.
A 12 week patient education programme was piloted within a severe asthma multi-disciplinary team. Sessions were 2 h duration fortnightly. The aim of the programme was to enable patients to gain greater insight into their disease, treatment options and lifestyle management with emphasis on improving asthma control and quality of life.
Aims Our aim was to assess the effect of the introduction of this programme upon participant’s asthma control and quality of life.
Methods Prospective data collection was performed, including Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ), Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) at week 1 and 12. Patient Satisfaction Evaluation forms were completed to facilitate ongoing programme development.
Results 21 patients entered with 16 (76%) completing the 12 week programme (12 female, 4 male). Dropout was attributed to difficulty attending on a regular basis. There was an improvement in mean total AQLQ of 1.3 (minimal clinically important difference >0.5). There was notable improvement in the AQLQ domains; symptoms (0.8) and emotional (0.7). Mean ACQ improved by 0.7 (p < 0.05), mean HAD anxiety and depression scores fell but this did not reach statistical significance (Table 1).
Conclusion A multidisciplinary patient education group for severe asthma patients significantly improves quality of life and asthma control. Longitudinal studies are required to determine impact upon exacerbations and hospitalisations.