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Clinical Investigations: ASTHMA |

Predictors of Participation and Attendance in a New Asthma Patient Self-Management Education Program*

Paul Muntner, PhD; Philippe Sudre, MD; Christophe Uldry, MD; Thierry Rochat, MD; Christiane Courteheuse, MD; Anne-Françoise Naef, PT; Thomas V. Perneger, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (Drs. Muntner, Sudre, and Perneger), University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; Division of Pneumology (Drs. Uldry, Rochat, and Courteheuse), Division of Therapeutic Education in Chronic Disease (Dr. Uldry), Physiotherapy Service (Ms. Naef), Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.

Correspondence to: Paul Muntner, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Tulane Ave, SL-18, New Orleans, LA 70112; e-mail: pmuntner@tulane.edu



Chest. 2001;120(3):778-784. doi:10.1378/chest.120.3.778
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Published online

Background: Low participation limits the effectiveness of patient education interventions. In this study, the characteristics of patients who agreed to participate in a clinical trial of disease self-management education for asthma were compared to the characteristics of those who declined, and among the former group patients who actually attended were compared to those who did not.

Methods: The education program, implemented at the Geneva University Hospitals between 1996 and 1998, consisted of three interactive sessions spread over 3 weeks. Only 131 of 253 eligible patients (52%) agreed to participate in the trial, and only 83 patients (63%) attended two to three educational sessions. All eligible patients filled out baseline questionnaires and were interviewed by a trained physiotherapist.

Results: Lower confidence in the patient’s own current treatment regimen and a more severe baseline asthma attack were independently associated with participation in the trial. Among those who agreed to participate in the study, a university education, longer asthma duration, older age, and a higher level of asthma management knowledge were associated with higher attendance. Quality-of-life scores were not associated with higher course attendance. Among all eligible participants, persons with lower knowledge of asthma management (which was assessed by what to do during an asthma attack and knowledge of the correct use of a peak expiratory flowmeter and inhalers) were less likely to enroll in the trial and to attend the educational training sessions.

Conclusions: Strategies need to be developed to motivate patients with lower disease self-management knowledge to participate in asthma education programs.


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