Patient-centered care may be pivotal in improving health outcomes for patients with asthma. In addition to increased attention in both research and clinical forums, recent legislation also highlights the importance of patient-centered outcomes research in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, whether patient-centered care has been shown to improve outcomes for this population is unclear. To answer this question, we performed a systematic review of the literature that aimed to define current patient-focused management issues, characterize important patient-defined outcomes in asthma control, and identify current and emerging treatments related to patient outcomes and perspectives. We used a parallel search strategy via Medline®, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL® (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), and PsycINFO®, complemented with a reference review of key articles that resulted in a total of 133 articles; 58 were interventions that evaluated the effect on patient-centered outcomes, and 75 were descriptive studies. The majority of intervention studies demonstrated improved patient outcomes (44; “positive” results); none showed true harm (0; “negative”); and the remainder were equivocal (14; “neutral”). Key themes emerged relating to patients’ desires for asthma knowledge, preferences for tailored management plans, and simplification of treatment regimens. We also found discordance between physicians and patients regarding patients’ needs, beliefs, and expectations about asthma. Although some studies show promise regarding the benefits of patient-focused care, these methods require additional study on feasibility and strategies for implementation in real world settings. Further, it is imperative that future studies must be, themselves, patient-centered (eg, pragmatic comparative effectiveness studies) and applicable to a variety of patient populations and settings. Despite the need for further research, enough evidence exists that supports incorporating a patient-centered approach to asthma management, in order to achieve improved outcomes and patient health.
Keywords: patient-focused, patient outcomes, quality of life