This was successfully posted to your pofile.
This box will close automatically in a few seconds. Close this window
We don't have an e-mail address on file for you. To use AAFP Connection, you must have an e-mail address in our records. Click Here
AAFP NRN Recruiting Family Medicine Practices for Asthma Research
- his or her Activities,
- the Persistence of his or her problems,
- his or her knowledge of asthma triGgers,
- information on the patient's ability to Adhere to prescribed medications, and
- the patient's impression of his or her Response to therapy.
Researchers from the Olmsted Medical Center published an article summarizing three previous studies of the APGAR tools in the Journal of Asthma and Allergy in 2008. The article concluded that the tools in the system can be feasibly implemented in primary care practices and that their implementation is associated with increased compliance with asthma management guidelines.
However, Barbara Yawn, M.D., MSc., director of research at the Olmsted Medical Center and adjunct professor of family and community health at the University of Minnesota, said the most recent study involved only about 200 patients at five practices. A new study, supported by a $2.49 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, will include about 1,500 patients.
"Previous studies were just validating the tools and improving the tools to the point that everyone was comfortable using them," Yawn told AAFP News Now. "Those small studies have shown that using the asthma APGAR tools can improve patients' asthma outcomes, but we need a much larger study to confirm those results."
Yawn and her co-authors noted in their 2008 article that implementation of asthma guidelines in primary care practices lowers emergency health care resource utilization and improves patient outcomes. However, many practices have been slow to implement guidelines into daily practice.
"Basic information, such as symptom frequency, frequency of missed or modified activities due to those symptoms, and information on triggers and therapy adherence, appear in less than 40 percent of primary care medical record notes for asthma visits," they wrote. "Without this basic information, it is difficult, if not impossible, to assess the effectiveness of current asthma control or reasons for failure to achieve asthma control."
Yawn said the study has three specific aims:
- to improve patient-oriented and practice-process outcomes for asthma care;
- to maintain the improvements for two years; and
- to explore facilitators and barriers to implementing the asthma APGAR tools and changes in asthma care within and across family medicine practices.
Physicians interested in participating may contact Debbie Graham, associate research director for the AAFP NRN, or project manager Susan Bertram, of the Olmsted Medical Center.
One physician and a designated study coordinator from each participating practice will attend a two-day training session in December in San Antonio, and practices will begin enrolling patients early next year, Yawn said.
She added that researchers are looking for nonmetropolitan practices that are not family medicine residency programs and that employ two to 12 primary care physicians. Each practice must enroll at least 70 patients with asthma -- ranging in age from 5-45 years -- during a 15-month period. Physicians should be prepared to commit 30 months to the project, said Yawn.