In this prospective randomized controlled trial, 245 patients with stable, moderate to severe asthma were included. They were randomized into a self-treatment group (group S) and a control group (group C). Both groups received self-management education. Additionally, group S received self-treatment guidelines based on peak expiratory flow (PEF) and symptoms. Outcome parameters included: asthma symptoms, quality of life, pulmonary function, and exacerbation rate. The 2-yr study was completed by 174 patients. Both groups showed an improvement in the quality of life of 7%. PEF variability decreased by 32% and 29%, and the number of outpatient visits by 25% and 18% in groups S and C, respectively. No significant differences in these parameters were found between the two groups. After 1 yr, patients in both groups perceived better control of asthma and had more self-confidence regarding their asthma. The latter improvements were significantly greater in group S as compared to group C. There were no other differences in outcome parameters between the groups. Individual self-treatment guidelines for exacerbations on top of a general self-management programme does not seem to be of additional benefit in terms of improvements in the clinical outcome of asthma. However, patients in the self-treatment group had better scores in subjective outcome measures such as perceived control of asthma and self-confidence than patients in the control group.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||European respiratory journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|