Ethics. Research. Community.

An evaluation of a nurse-run asthma clinic in general practice using an attitudes and morbidity questionnaire.

Family practice. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
A before and after longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate a nurse-run asthma clinic in general practice. Sibbalds morbidity and attitudes questionnaire was used to monitor the changes in association with attendance at the clinic. One hundred and five patients aged 3-83 years attended the clinic. Over the 12 months of the study patients reported significant reductions in attacks of wheeze, nocturnal attacks, overall trouble (P eta 0.005) and GP home visits (P = 0.02). Patients also reported a significant improvement in feelings of stigma (P less than 0.001), and confidence in self-care (P less than 0.001). There was a significant association between morbidity criteria such as 'overall interference' and stigma at the outset of the clinic (R = -0.44; P less than 0.001; 95% confidence interval -0.58 to -0.26). A patient's feelings of stigma towards their asthma at the outset did not predict the eventual improvement in morbidity. As the patient's asthma improved the feelings of stigma became less apparent. This would suggest that improving a patient's morbidity should be one of the first priorities in asthma care. Confidence in the doctor was high at the outset and did not change throughout the study, despite the fact that a large proportion of patients wanted more information about their asthma but found it difficult to talk to their doctor. General practitioners are often restrained by how much time and resources they can devote to each patient. The nurse-run asthma clinic with its programme of structured care represents a possible solution to these problems.
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