Impact of a low-cost and simple intervention in enhancing treatment adherence in a Brazilian asthma sample

J Asthma. 2006 May;43(4):263-6. doi: 10.1080/02770900600620459.


The aim of this study was to evaluate adherence to treatment in persistent asthma in Brazil to determine the factors associated with non-adherence and to measure the efficacy of telephone calls in enhancing adherence. In a prospective, multicenter, interventional clinical trial with parallel groups, asthmatics were randomized into an intervention group or a control group. Asthmatics included in the intervention group received an initial telephone call to record demographic information and asthma characterization. After that, biweekly telephone calls were made to promote treatment adherence. Asthmatics included in the control group received only the initial and final telephone calls. Both groups received three packages of salmeterol/fluticasone for 3 months. The main outcome measure was the percentage of participants who took the prescribed doses of the drug. A total of 271 patients were included. The overall adherence rate was 51.9% for the control group and 74.3% for the intervention group. This meant a reduction of relative risk (RRR) of 47% (p < 0.001). The number needed to treat (NNT) was 4.5. The only variable associated with better adherence was severe persistent asthma. A low-cost easily implemented intervention, tailored to each individual, enhanced the adherence rate among Brazilian asthmatic patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / economics*
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / economics*
  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reminder Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents