Clinical outcomes and health-care resource use data were documented by treating physicians based on (electronic) patient records. Documentation covered the 6-month periods prior to the baseline and subsequent follow-up visits. An additional caregiver questionnaire provided information about patients’ school absenteeism, caregivers’ loss of workdays due to their child’s asthma, and the number of asthma-related emergencies.
Finally, a patient questionnaire was distributed at all scheduled study visits. It contained a QoL questionnaire (KINDL; Berlin, Germany). The KINDL questionnaire is a generic QoL instrument applicable for self administration. It consists of 24 Likert-scale items in the dimensions of physical well-being, psychological well-being, self esteem, family, friends, and social functioning. Furthermore, it is supplemented with a disease-specific asthma module consisting of six further items. canadian pharmacy
Follow-up questionnaires were mailed to GPs, patients, and caregivers in case patient education had taken place in a remote investigator site (four study centers are located in the Alps; country wide, GPs refer their patients to these centers as the centers are specialized in treating asthma and delivering patient education programs in remote areas with low allergen exposure, eg, dust mite).
Patients in both intervention groups took part in an SPMP. In a series of educational sessions (5 X 2 h), asthma knowledge and asthma self-management skills were strengthened. Patients were instructed in several disease-related fields (eg, proper use of different inhaler devices, classification of reliever and controller medication, avoidance of asthma triggers, limitation of allergen exposure, peak flow measuring, and its interpretation). During role-playing exercises, critical everyday life situations of asthma patients were simulated in small groups, and possible solutions to daily disease-specific problems were discussed. Content, scope, and results of the SPMP are reported in detail elsewhere.