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A framework for measuring self-management effectiveness and health care use among pediatric asthma patients and families

Authors Rangachari P

Received 29 January 2017

Accepted for publication 17 March 2017

Published 12 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 111—122


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Luis Garcia-Marcos

Pavani Rangachari

College of Allied Health Sciences, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, USA

Abstract: Asthma is associated with substantial health care expenditures, including an estimated US$56 billion per year in direct costs. A recurring theme in the asthma management literature is that costly asthma symptoms, including hospitalizations and multiple emergency department (ED)/outpatient visits, can often be prevented through patient/family adherence to the national (National Institutes of Health Expert Panel Report-3) guidelines for effective self-management of asthma, specifically 1) medication adherence and 2) environmental trigger avoidance, as outlined in the patient’s personalized Asthma-Action Plan. It is important to note however that while effective self-management of asthma is known to reduce ED visits and hospitalizations, the relationship between asthma self-management effectiveness and outpatient visit frequency remains ambiguous, reflecting a gap in the literature. For instance, do patients/families who self-manage effectively visit outpatient clinics more frequently for asthma care (compared to those who do not self-manage effectively), after accounting for differences in asthma severity, demographic characteristics, and risk factors? Do patients/families who visit outpatient clinics more frequently for asthma care, in turn have fewer ED and inpatient encounters for asthma? On the other hand, do patients/families who do not revisit outpatient clinics regularly have higher ED visits and hospitalizations? It is important to address these gaps, in order to reduce the costs and public health burden of asthma. This paper provides a foundation for addressing these gaps, by conducting an integrative review of the asthma management literature, to develop a conceptual framework for measuring self-management effectiveness and health care use among pediatric asthma patients/families. In doing so, the paper lays the groundwork for future research seeking to explicate the relationship between asthma self-management effectiveness and health care use, which in turn has potential to engage asthma providers in promoting ideal self-management and optimal health care use for pediatric asthma, in accordance with national evidence-based guidelines for asthma management.

Keywords: pediatric asthma, self-management, health care use, evidence-based guidelines, patient-and-family-centered care, population health management

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