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New asthma management (APGAR) tools improve outcomes

Researchers analyzed to see if a set of asthma management tools called APGAR(Activities, Persistent, triGGers, Asthma medications, Response to therapy) tools helps decrease asthma-related visits to the emergency department, urgent care or hospital and improves patients’ asthma control. The study results are published in journal Annals of Family Medicine.

A randomized controlled study was conducted in 18 family medicine and pediatric practices across the US, which compared outcomes in more than 1,000 patients with persistent asthma aged 4 to 45 years using Asthma APGAR tools versus usual care. The study results showed that in the group which used APGAR tools had a significantly lower proportion (11%) asthma emergencies compared to the usual management group (21%).  At one-year intervention group had improved asthma control and showed better control scores and improved quality of life.

Intervention practices also significantly increased their adherence to three or more elements of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines compared to usual care practices. Participating practices reported that changing practice to incorporate the Asthma APGAR tools was challenging, but the tools themselves were perceived as useful and efficient.

The authors suggest that the Asthma APGAR tools are effective for asthma management in the primary care practice setting.

Citation: Yawn, Barbara P., Peter C. Wollan, Matthew A. Rank, Susan L. Bertram, Young Juhn, and Wilson Pace. “Use of Asthma APGAR Tools in Primary Care Practices: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial.” The Annals of Family Medicine 16, no. 2 (2018): 100-10. doi:10.1370/afm.2179.

Adapted from press release by American Academy of Family Physicians.

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