Archivos argentinos de pediatría
versión impresa ISSN 0325-0075
Introduction. Asthma is a major economic burden to families and public healthcare since it leads to a large number of emergency room (ER) visits and hospital admissions. Whereas healthcare programs for children with asthma have proved to be very effective to improve the course of the disease, there is less information about programs for children with severe asthma. Objective. To comparatively analyze the impact of the Healthcare Program for Children with Severe Asthma (Programa de Atención de Niños con Asma Grave, PANAG). Methods. This was a longitudinal, pre- and postintervention study. Two approaches were used to compare the frequency of asthma exacerbations and hospital admissions due to severe asthma in a group of patients: regular follow-up in a public hospital (pre-intervention period, 18 months) and follow-up while participating in PANAG (post-intervention period, 18 months). During the Program, patients received preventive treatment free of charge; educational activities were also organized. Results. Twenty children were included, 16 (80%) out of the 20 were females, and the mean age was 13.3 years (SD 3.8). During the pre-intervention period 59 asthma attacks were recorded; after PANAG was implemented, they decreased to 26. This accounts for a significant reduction of 55% of asthma attacks (p= 0.0002). During the period previous to PANAG implementation, there were 4 asthma-related hospital admissions. In the period after the program implementation, there was only one hospital admission. Conclusions. The Healthcare Program for Patients with Severe Asthma is an effective strategy to manage this disease. This healthcare program is affordable to be used in a public hospital.
Palabras clave : Severe asthma; Healthcare program; Asthma attacks; Exacerbation; Hospital admissions.