Objective: To study the effectiveness of a minimal intervention strategy to improve the adherence to paediatric asthma guidelines.
Design and setting: A group of pharmacists was encouraged to discuss essential elements of asthma care with the general practitioners they normally worked with. The adherence to guidelines was evaluated by studying prescriptions for children with asthma. We compared the treatments of children who were registered at pharmacies who participated in the study (intervention group) with a control group of children, registered at other, non-participating pharmacies (reference group) and with results of an earlier study.
Main outcome measures: The numbers of children who had no short-acting betamimetics, no inhaled corticosteroids while on long-acting betamimetics, and who had more than one type of inhaler.
Results: The number of children who had no short-acting betamimetics was significantly lower in the intervention group (176/1447 vs. 534/3527; p < 0.01); fewer children had no ICS although on long-acting betamimetics (6/219 vs. 41/477; p = 0.03). The number of children who had more than one type of inhaler was equal in both groups (5.1%), but this was significantly lower than compared to the earlier study (119/2311 vs. 239/3217; p <0.01).
Conclusions: The assistance of pharmacists in adherence to paediatric asthma guidelines is beneficial. Pharmacists should be involved actively in the care of children with asthma.
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