Pharmacy Team design new management program for asthma sufferers

6 February 2009

Photo of asthma inhalers
Photo of asthma inhalers

A team of Faculty researchers has designed a new management program for asthma sufferers. Research over the last 8 years has resulted in a new management model for people with asthma, which is effective in producing positive outcomes and health benefits for asthma sufferers.

Professor Carol Armour is the Lead Investigator on this research project and heads the team* of researchers that has designed the new asthma-management program. The team has also developed a 2-day training program for pharmacists who will be helping in the management of people with asthma. Professor Armour says "it is vitally important to improve the treatment and support of asthma sufferers in Australia. Currently about 10% of the population are diagnosed with this disease so ensuring the treatment they receive is effective and relevant is vital".

Research published by the asthma team showed that a randomised controlled trial of a pharmacy-based intervention resulted in better health outcomes for asthma sufferers. This new model includes a test of lung function, medication checks, asthma inhaler technique and trigger factors. In addition people with asthma are asked to assess how well they use their medication and to set goals to achieve before their next review with the pharmacist.

The new program also helps to put asthma sufferers back in touch with their doctor. Professor Armour says "we find that in most cases asthma sufferers do not seek out their GP to review their asthma symptoms or medication. Now pharmacists are able to provide a link between the two when people with asthma visit the pharmacy for their medicine. Pharmacists are able to talk to an asthma sufferer about their medication and can refer "at risk" people, whose medication is not working effectively for them, back to their GPs for a full review".

*The team includes Drs Bandana Saini, Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich and Lorraine Smith, Associate Professor Ines Krass, Chehani Alles and Kate LeMay. The team is working with collaborators at the University of Queensland, Monash and Charles Sturt Universities.

Contact: Holly Bax-Norman

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 305f065e170f333c3621197b46153e366f1f34107b125e