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    ABSTRACT: Improper inhaler technique is a common problem affecting asthma control and healthcare costs. Telephonic asthma management can increase access to care while reducing costs and hospitalizations. However, no reliable method has been established for telephonically evaluating and correcting inhaler technique. The purpose of this study was to pilot test a method for assessing and correcting patient inhaler technique via telephone. Participants (n=30) were adults with asthma using metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) and diskus inhalers. A pharmacist was located in one room and communicated via telephone with a participant in another room. The pharmacist telephonically assessed and taught inhaler technique. Participants were video-recorded, and videos were later examined by a second pharmacist to visually evaluate inhaler technique. Participants were assigned pre- and posteducation inhaler technique scores for the telephonic and video assessments. Scores were based on summated scales for MDI (0-9) and diskus (0-11) inhalers. Paired samples t-tests were used to compare telephone and video assessments. Findings indicated a significant difference between the telephone and video assessments of MDI technique (p<0.05); however, no difference was found for the diskus inhaler. Comparing pre- and posteducation inhaler technique for MDI and diskus, mean scores significantly improved from 5.7 to 7.8 (p<0.05) and from 8.5 to 10.4 (p<0.05), respectively. The telephonic method was able to improve and detect some deficiencies in patients' inhaler technique. However, modifications and further investigation will more clearly determine the role and value of such a telephonic intervention.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 09/2011; 17(9):734-40. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Telehealthcare has the potential to provide care for long-term conditions that are increasingly prevalent, such as asthma. We conducted a systematic review of studies of telehealthcare interventions used for the treatment of asthma to determine whether such approaches to care are effective. We searched the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register of Trials, which is derived from systematic searches of bibliographic databases including CENTRAL (the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) and PsycINFO, as well as other electronic resources. We also searched registers of ongoing and unpublished trials. We were interested in studies that measured the following outcomes: quality of life, number of visits to the emergency department and number of admissions to hospital. Two reviewers identified studies for inclusion in our meta-analysis. We extracted data and used fixedeffect modelling for the meta-analyses. We identified 21 randomized controlled trials for inclusion in our analysis. The methods of telehealthcare intervention these studies investigated were the telephone and video- and Internet-based models of care. Meta-analysis did not show a clinically important improvement in patients' quality of life, and there was no significant change in the number of visits to the emergency department over 12 months. There was a significant reduction in the number of patients admitted to hospital once or more over 12 months (risk ratio 0.25 [95% confidence interval 0.09 to 0.66]). We found no evidence of a clinically important impact on patients' quality of life, but telehealthcare interventions do appear to have the potential to reduce the risk of admission to hospital, particularly for patients with severe asthma. Further research is required to clarify the cost-effectiveness of models of care based on telehealthcare.
    Canadian Medical Association Journal 08/2011; 183(11):E733-42. · 6.47 Impact Factor
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    Iranian Journal of Pediatrics 12/2012; 22(4):575-6. · 0.26 Impact Factor

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