Methods: This is a retrospective report on the development, implementation and evaluation of outcomes of a SADCP. The pathway was based on the Teach-to-goal educational methodology that supported the mastery correct inhaler technique and ability to action the personalized asthma action plan (PAAP). Children with frequent asthma attacks were entered as they were discharged from the Emergency Department or ward. The first training session occurred within 1–3 weeks of the index asthma attack with 2 further sessions in the following 8 weeks. Children exiting the pathway were discharged either back to primary care or to a hospital clinic.
Results: 81 children entered the pathway (median age 5 years) with 72 discharged from the ED and 9 from the medical wards of the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. At pathway entry 13% had correct inhaler technique, 10% had a Personalized Asthma Action Plan (PAAP), and 5% had >80% (45% >50%) repeat refill evidence of adherence to inhaled corticosteroid over the previous 12 months. On pathway exit all children demonstrated correct inhaler technique and were able to action their PAAP. One year later 51% and 95% had refill evidence of >80% and >50% adherence. Comparisons of the 12 months before and 12 months after exit from the pathway the median number of emergency ED or OoH asthma attendances and courses of oral corticosteroids reduced to zero with >75% having no attacks requiring this level of attention. Similar findings resulted when the SADCP was implemented in a district general hospital pediatric unit.
Conclusion: Implementing an asthma care pathway, using Teach-to-Goal skill training methods and frequent early reviews after an index asthma attack can reduce the future risk of asthma attacks in the next 6 to 12 months.
- asthma attack
- discharge care pathway
- inhaler technique
- understanding action plan