Background - A small proportion of patients with asthma account for a disproportionate number of acute health service events. To identify whether factors other than severity and low socioeconomic status were associated with this disproportionate use, a prospective study was undertaken to examine management and psychosocial factors associated with increased risk for admission to hospital with asthma and repeat visits to the emergency department over a 12 month period. Methods - A total of 293 patients with moderate or severe asthma managed at least in part at two teaching hospitals completed surveys of clinical status, acute events, sociodemographic, and psychological variables. Results - Twenty three percent had a single admission to hospital and 16% had two or more hospital admissions. Twenty six percent had one emergency department visit and 32% had two or more visits to the emergency department. In a multiple logistic regression model, adjusted for age, sex, education and income, odds ratios (95% CI) for baseline factors associated with hospital admissions over the next 12 months were: moderate severity compared with severe asthma 0.6 (0.2 to 0.9); no hospital admissions in the past 12 months 0.1 (0.01 to 0.2); not possessing a written asthma action plan 4.0 (1.5 to 10.7); less use of an avoidance coping style 0.4 (0.3 to 0.7); lower preferences for autonomy in asthma management decisions 1.4 (0.96 to 2.0). Adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) for repeat emergency department visits were: moderate asthma severity 0.3 (0.1 to 0.8); current regular use of oral corticosteroids 10.0 (3.1 to 32.4); a hospital admission in the past 12 months 2.9 (1.8 to 4.8); not possessing a written asthma action plan 2.2 (1.1 to 5.6); less dislike of asthma medications 0.7 (0.5 to 0.9). Conclusions - In addition to factors relating to severity, not possessing a written asthma action plan, avoidance coping, and attitudes to self-management were related to acute use of health services in this at risk group. Interventions need to address or take these factors into account to reduce asthma morbidity.
- Emergency room visits
- Hospital admissions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine