PURPOSE: To examine whether referral to a specialized asthma clinic showed a statistically significant reduction in the Juniper Asthma Symptom Score; which includes subjective and objective assessments. Asthma clinic patients are seen by a pulmonologist and certified nurse asthma educator. Juniper Scores are tabulated on all patients at each visit.
METHODS: Charts of 232 patients seen in the clinic from 2003 and 2005 were reviewed. Seventy-four patients returned for a single follow-up appointment. Twenty-four patients had two consecutive follow-up visits after the initial visit. Juniper scores, subjective scores, and objective scores were tabulated. The percentage change of these scores was evaluated for statistical significance.
RESULTS: First to second visit had a Juniper Score reduction of 15% (P=0.002) first to third by 22% (P=0.026), and second to third by 15% (P=0.446). For subjective scores, the first to third visit improved by 22% (P=0.056), first to second by 14% (P=0.002), and second to third by 6.3% (P=0.581). The FEV1 from the first to third visit improved by 28% (P=0.013), first to second by 8.3% (P=0.143), and second to third by 19% (P=0.409).
CONCLUSION: Statistically significant reductions in the overall Juniper Asthma Symptom Score and the subjective component were observed. The FEV1 significantly improved on the 3rd visit to the asthma clinic.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Referral of asthma patients to a pulmonologist and asthma educator improves the control of symptoms and lung function. Additional studies with larger number of patients are needed to confirm these results.
DISCLOSURE: James Ladesich, None.