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7.  Small-group, interactive education and the effect on asthma control by children and their families 
Background
Effective approaches to education about asthma need to be identified. We evaluated the impact on asthma control by children and their caregivers of an intervention involving small-group, interactive education about asthma.
Methods
We randomly assigned children who visited an emergency department for an exacerbation of asthma (n = 398) to either of 2 groups. Children assigned to the control group followed the usual care recommended by their primary care physician. Those assigned to the intervention group participated in a small-group, interactive program of education about asthma. We examined changes in the number of visits to the emergency department during the year after the intervention.
Results
During the year after enrolment, children in the intervention group made significantly fewer visits to the emergency department (0.45 visits per child) compared with those in the control group (0.75 visits per child) (p = 0.004). The likelihood of a child in the intervention group requiring emergency care was reduced by 38% (relative risk [RR] 0.62, 95% confidence interval CI 0.48–0.81, p = 0.004). Fewer courses of oral corticosteroids (0.63 per child) were required by children in the intervention group than by those in the control group (0.85 per child) (p = 0.006). We observed significant improvements in the symptom domain of the questionnaire on pediatric asthma quality-of-life (p = 0.03) and the activity domain of the questionnaire on caregivers’ quality of life (p = 0.05). Parents of children in the intervention group missed less work because of their child’s asthma after participating in the educational program (p = 0.04). No impact on hospital admissions was observed.
Interpretation
Education about asthma, especially in a small-group, interactive format, improved clinically important outcomes and overall care of children with asthma.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.080947
PMCID: PMC2734203  PMID: 19687105
8.  Canadian Pediatric Asthma Consensus Guidelines, 2003 (updated to December 2004): Introduction 
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal  2005;173(6 Suppl):S12-S14.
Background
Although guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma have been published over the last 15 years, there has been little focus on issues relating to asthma in childhood. Since the last revision of the 1999 Canadian asthma consensus report, important new studies, particularly in children, have highlighted the need to incorporate this new information into asthma guidelines.
Objectives
To review the literature on asthma published between January 2000 and June 2003 and to evaluate the influence of new evidence on the recommendations made in the Canadian Asthma Consensus Report, 1999 and its 2001 update with a major focus on pediatric issues.
Methods
Diagnosis of asthma in young children, prevention strategies, pharmacotherapy, inhalation devices, immunotherapy and asthma education were selected for review by small expert resource groups. In June 2003, the reviews were discussed at a meeting under the auspices of the Canadian Network For Asthma Care and the Canadian Thoracic Society. Data published up to December 2004 were subsequently reviewed by the individual expert resource groups.
Results
This report evaluates early life prevention strategies and focuses on treatment of asthma in children. Emphasis is placed on the importance of an early diagnosis and prevention therapy, the benefits of additional therapy and the essential role of asthma education.
Conclusion
We generally support previous recommendations and focus on new issues, particularly those relevant to children and their families. This guide for asthma management is based on the best available published data and the opinion of health care professionals including asthma experts and educators.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.045064
PMCID: PMC1329946  PMID: 16157728

Results 1-8 (8)