Study objective: To implement and assess a community-based pharmaceutical care program for patients with asthma.
Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
Setting: Community pharmacies (11 control, 11 intervention) in Malta.
Patients: Community-dwelling patients with asthma.
Interventions: A comprehensive asthma education and monitoring program was implemented. Intervention patients received verbal counseling, an educational video, an information leaflet, and subsequent monitoring with reinforcement; control patients received routine dispensing services.
Measurements and main results: Parameters assessed at baseline and at 4, 8, and 12 months were health-related quality of life, peak expiratory flow (PEF), inhaler technique, compliance with therapy, hospitalization rates, days lost from work, asthma symptoms, and patient satisfaction. Health-related quality of life of the intervention patients improved at 12 months (p=0.044). In the same time period, PEF significantly decreased in control patients compared with intervention patients (p=0.009) whereas inhaler technique improved in the intervention group (p=0.021). There were significantly fewer self-reported hospitalizations in intervention patients.
Conclusions: A community-based pharmaceutical care program was appreciated by the participants and had a positive impact on the vitality of patients with asthma, inhaler technique, and PEE.