Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multifaceted educational intervention for general practitioners to improve the outcomes of older people with asthma.
Design: Cluster randomised controlled trial.
Participants and setting: 42 GPs recruited from metropolitan Melbourne between 1 August 2006 and 31 July 2007, randomly assigned to an intervention or control group, and 107 patients with asthma, aged 55 years or older (consecutive patients recruited by the GPs).
Main outcome measures: Evaluation by means of a videorecorded consultation with a simulated patient for GPs; and for patients, asthma control and quality of life, lung function and action plan ownership at baseline and at 4 months.
Results: GPs in the intervention group scored significantly higher than those in the control group for the content and style of their consultation with simulated patients. At 4 months' follow-up, there was no significant difference between patient groups in the asthma control scores, asthma-related quality of life or lung function.
Conclusion: This trial showed an improvement in GPs' performance in delivering asthma care to older people. Despite this, there was no significant improvement in patient outcomes.
Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12607000634471.