Factors associated with acute health care use in a national adult asthma management program

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006 Dec;97(6):784-93. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60970-2.

Abstract

Background: The use of acute health care resources for asthma is considerable. Disease severity is an established risk factor, but ethnicity and health care factors are less well studied.

Objective: To investigate the independent associations of ethnicity and health care factors with acute resource use for asthma.

Methods: Longitudinal data from a national adult asthma management program providing universal access to care were analyzed. Outcome measures were unscheduled physician visits with urgent nebulization, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations.

Results: In multivariate analyses, markers of disease severity were found to be significantly associated with all acute resource use. After controlling for disease severity, ethnicity was associated with increased risk of all acute resource use; Indian (vs Chinese) ethnicity was associated with increased risk of unscheduled physician visits (hazard ratio [HR], 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.70), ED visits (HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.12-2.32), and hospitalizations (HR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.03-2.16). Malay ethnicity was associated with unscheduled physician visits (HR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.01-1.68) and ED visits (HR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.09-2.19). Default of follow-up appointments was associated with unscheduled physician visits (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.08-2.00), ED visits (HR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.59-3.45), and hospitalizations (HR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.09-2.76). Poor inhaler technique was associated with ED visits (HR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.05-3.30) and smoking with unscheduled physician visits (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.09-1.76).

Conclusions: In addition to markers of asthma severity, ethnicity, smoking, discontinuity of care, and self-care behavior are risk factors for acute resource utilization and represent target groups and elements of asthma intervention for improving asthma outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / ethnology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Self Care
  • Smoking