Effects of PACK guide training on the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by primary care clinicians: a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial in Florianópolis, Brazil

BMJ Glob Health. 2019 Dec 16;4(6):e001921. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001921. eCollection 2019.


Introduction: The Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK) guide was localised for Brazil, where primary care doctors and nurses were trained to use it.

Methods: Twenty-four municipal clinics in Florianópolis were randomly allocated to receive outreach training and the guide, and 24 were allocated to receive only the guide. 6666 adult patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were enrolled, and trial outcomes were measured over 12 months, using electronic medical records. The primary outcomes were composite scores of treatment changes and spirometry, and new asthma and COPD diagnosis rates.

Results: Asthma scores in 2437 intervention group participants were higher (74.8%, 20.4% and 4.8% with scores of 0, 1 and 2, respectively) than in 2633 control group participants (80.0%, 16.8% and 3.2%) (OR for higher score 1.32, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.61, p=0.006). Adjusted for asthma scores recorded in each clinic before training started, the OR was 1.24 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.50, p=0.022). COPD scores in 1371 intervention group participants (77.7%, 17.9% and 4.3% with scores of 0, 1 and 2) did not differ from those in 1181 control group participants (80.5%, 15.8% and 3.7%) (OR 1.21, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.55, p=0.142). Rates of new asthma and COPD diagnoses, and hospital admission, and indicators of investigation, diagnosis and treatment of comorbid cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression, and tobacco cessation did not differ between trial arms.

Conclusion: PACK training increased guideline-based treatment and spirometry for asthma but did not affect COPD or comorbid conditions, or diagnosis rates.

Trial registration: NCT02786030 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/).

Keywords: educational outreach; implementation research; primary care; respiratory disease.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02786030