Managing asthma in primary care through imperative outcomes


  • No financial relationships are linked to this article.

Dr Jesslee M. du Plessis, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Private Bag X 6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa, E-mail:


Rationale, aims and objectives  To evaluate asthma management and control in primary care clinics so as to design improvements based on guideline-directed outcomes.

Methods  In this study, all medical records of asthma-diagnosed patients (children as well as adults, entire lifespan, asthma-related visits or not) were retrospectively reviewed as a basis for assessing the level of guideline adherence and asthma control. Six primary health care clinics were visited in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda Municipal District, Potchefstroom, South Africa during May to July 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Results  A total of 323 asthma patient records were reviewed over the three time slots, resulting in 125, 87, and 111 patients respectively. A suboptimal clinical asthma control picture, with a mere 16% (n = 20) of females and 2% (n = 3) of males with Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) percentages above 60%, were observed in the initial assessment. Improvement in control was observed during the following time slot, but with an end result in 2010 of no PEF percentages above 60% for males and only 9% (n = 7) for females.

Conclusion  Over all three of the data collection periods adherence to effectively applied management of asthma guidelines proved to be below the minimum recommended clinical evaluation work-up as set out by the Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3) of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP). Applying a greater focus on essential outcomes through different disease management documents resulted in an improved quality of managed care, but still requires dedicated and continuous education and motivation. (NWU-0052-08-A5)