Introduction: Achievement and maintenance of good asthma control is a major objective in asthma management. However, asthma control in many patients is suboptimal, due to improper use of asthma medications and non-adherence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a pharmacist intervention on asthma control in adult patients.
Methods: A 6-month cluster randomized controlled trial was undertaken with allocation of community pharmacies to intervention or control group. Adult asthma patients in the intervention group received a protocol-based intervention addressing individual needs related to asthma control, inhaler technique and medication adherence. Patients in the control group received usual care. Main variables were measured at baseline, 3 and 6 months.
Results: 336 patients completed the study, 150 in the control group and 186 in the intervention group. The intervention resulted in enhanced asthma control: Patients receiving the intervention had an Odds ratio of 3.06 (95% CI:1.63-5.73; p < 0.001) of having controlled asthma six months later. In the intervention group mean ACQ scores significantly improved [0.66 points (SD: 0.78); p < 0.001] and the number of controlled asthma patients increased by 30.1% (p < 0.001) after 6 months. The intervention also resulted in improved medication adherence (by 40.3%, p < 0.001) and inhaler technique (by 56.2%, p < 0.001). No significant changes for any of these variables were observed in the control group.
Conclusion: The AFasma study focused on the important outcomes of asthma management, and showed that through the designed intervention, community pharmacists can increase controlled asthma patients compared to usual care. Trial registration NCT01085474.
Keywords: Asthma; Asthma control; Community pharmacy; Inhaler technique; Medication adherence; Patient education.
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