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The effect of regular peak flow meter utilisation on asthma self-management

Knobloch, Julia (2013). The effect of regular peak flow meter utilisation on asthma self-management. Honours Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Knobloch, Julia
Title The effect of regular peak flow meter utilisation on asthma self-management
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2013
Thesis Type Honours
Subjects 1115 - Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
1199 - Other Medical and Health Sciences
Formatted Abstract Introduction:
Asthma is a common chronic disease in Australia with suboptimal self-care. The peak flow meter (PFM) is a simple device available at pharmacies that measures a specific part of lung function, but is largely underutilised by people with asthma. When used properly, the peak expiratory flow (PEF) can provide useful information to people with asthma for their disease management.
Objectives:
The project aims to identify if the introduction of a PFM with appropriate education can improve engagement in asthma self-management in a sample of the Darwin population.
Method:
The studywas designed as a crossover before-and-after randomised controlled intervention pilot study, conducted in four separate steps. Participants were adults previously diagnosed with asthma who did not use a PFM as part of their asthma management. Participants in the intervention group were provided with a PFM and asthma education, whereas the control group only received asthma education. The study then evaluated participants’ awareness and asthma control using validated questionnaires and formative feedback.
Results:
Twelve subjects (5=intervention and 7=control) completed the study. The effect of PFM utilisation on asthma knowledge and
asthma control determined by validated questionnaires was not statistically significant either between the groups (p=1.000 and p=0.103, respectively) or the crossover (p=0.226 and p=0.889, respectively). However, the majority of subject’s feedback was positive, indicated by an increased awareness and better quantification of asthma control by all subjects.
Conclusion:
The study did not find great improvement in asthma control as a result of PFM utilisation. However, the findings are limited by a small sample size and limitations associated with the questionnaires. In addition, the long-term benefit of asthma control is not assessed and follow-­up assessments are recommended for future studies. The findings suggest that participants are more aware of their asthma control after this pharmacist-based intervention. Integration of PFM education and monitoring into pharmacy practice may expand current pharmacist services in a multidisciplinary approach to optimise asthma control, and potentially improve asthma self-management.


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