Objective: The aim of this study was to elucidate the care of patients with asthma in primary health care from medical, patient self-management, health, quality of life, and health economic perspectives.
Methods: Asthma nurse practice (ANP), an alternative asthma self-management strategy, was compared with traditional asthma care in primary health care in southern Sweden regarding medical history, lifestyle, self-management, symptoms caused by asthma, effects on sick leave, state of health, quality of life and health care costs. The first part of the investigation comprised a retrospective study of a randomly selected sample of patient records of asthmatics (n=152). The second part, lasting 3 months, was prospective and included consecutive patients visits (n=347).
Results: The ANP approach showed better results in most of the evaluated outcomes such as asthma quality documentation and self-management and the number of asthma symptoms was significantly lower. From a health economic perspective the results were encouraging with respect to ANP.
Conclusion: This alternative asthma strategy, ANP, improved asthma care in primary health care and resulted in economic advantages in the health care sector. However the result may only be generalized to other practices working with asthma nurses in the same way.