Effectiveness of a nurse-led management programme for paediatric asthma in Taiwan


Dr Ben-Chih Yuan, Military Kaohsiung General Hospital, 1 Chung-Cheng 1st Road, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Fax: +61 886 77495175; email: bency@isu.edu.tw


Aim:  The aim of this study was to carry out a preliminary analysis of the impact of a government-sponsored disease management programme for paediatric asthma on economic outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Methods:  Of the 398 patients who participated in the programme, 249 (62.56%) who had at least two medical care encounters with an ICD-9 code of 493 were classified as ‘already diagnosed cases’; and 129 (34.12%) who had a single or no medical care encounter with an ICD-9 code of 493 were classified as ‘newly diagnosed cases’. A retrospective 1:4 (intervention vs. control group) matched cohort study design was conducted, with the control group randomly drawn from 236 637 paediatric asthmatics who were not enrolled the programme. Questionnaires were collected from 105 (26.3%) of the patients.

Results:  Comparison results of 1 year pre/post tests of utilisations of health care resources indicated that the intervention group of already diagnosed cases had 77.97% fewer emergency department visits, 80.77% fewer inpatient visits, and 75.65% fewer stays of significant length. For the newly diagnosed group, the intervention group had 35.11% fewer emergency department visits than the control group. The majority of the patients had substantial adherence to physicians’ suggestions, more accurate knowledge and better self-care skills concerning asthma.

Conclusion:  A nurse-led management programme has proved useful in managing paediatric asthma in Taiwan. Simplification of paperwork, some reorganisation of the practitioner’s daily responsibilities and provision of a fail-safe information system may make the programme even more beneficial.