Canadian Respiratory Journal

Canadian Respiratory Journal / 2006 / Article

Original Article | Open Access

Volume 13 |Article ID 360735 |

M Labrecque, M Lavallée, MF Beauchesne, A Cartier, LP Boulet, "Can Access to Spirometry in Asthma Education Centres Influence the Referral Rate by Primary Physicians for Education?", Canadian Respiratory Journal, vol. 13, Article ID 360735, 5 pages, 2006.

Can Access to Spirometry in Asthma Education Centres Influence the Referral Rate by Primary Physicians for Education?


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Asthma remains uncontrolled in a large number of asthmatic patients. Recent surveys have shown that a minority of asthmatic patients are referred to asthma educators. The objective of the present study was to assess the influence of increased access to spirometry in asthma education centres (AECs) on the rate of patient referrals to these centres by general practitioners.METHODS: A one-year, prospective, randomized, multicentric, parallel group study was conducted over two consecutive periods of six months each, with added spirometry being offered in the second six-month period to the experimental group. Ten AECs were enrolled in the project. An advertisement describing the AECs’ services was sent by mail to a total of 303 general practitioners at the start of each period, inviting them to refer their patients. Measures of the frequency of medical referrals to the AECs were assessed for each period.RESULTS: The group of AECs randomly selected for spirometry in the second six-month period received 48 medical referrals during the first period and 32 during the second one, following proposed spirometry. AECs that had not offered spirometry received five referrals during the first period and seven during the second period. One AEC withdrew a few weeks after the study began and others encountered administrative problems, reducing their ability to provide interventions.CONCLUSIONS: Referral to AECs is not yet integrated into the primary care of asthma and offering more rapid access to spirometry in the AECs does not seem to be a significant incentive for such referrals.

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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