Asthma self-management programmes can reduce unscheduled care

Pinnock H, Parke HL, Panagioti M, et al; PRISMS and RECURSIVE groups. Systematic meta-review of supported self-management for asthma: a healthcare perspective. BMC Medicine. 2017;15(1):64. | via National Institute for Health Research

People with asthma who receive supported self-management are less likely to attend A&E or be admitted to hospital. The interventions are unlikely to increase overall costs for healthcare services. Those who self-manage are also likely to have more controlled asthma and a better quality of life.

This extensive overview of systematic reviews included evidence from 270 randomised controlled trials exploring the effects of asthma self-management on healthcare utilisation and costs. Self-management programmes were slightly more expensive, but this cost was likely to be offset by reducing unplanned medical visits and improving patient quality of life.

Trials covered different self-care education programmes delivered in a range of contexts. However, programmes which included written action plans supported by regular professional review were found to be most beneficial.

These findings are in keeping with current guideline recommendations and emphasise that supported self-management programmes for asthma should be prioritised.

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