Study: Supported Self-Management Is Key In Managing Asthma

When treating chronic respiratory conditions, the aim is to achieve as many symptom-free days as possible through good treatment balance. The secret lies in empowering the patients themselves to monitor their lung condition, symptoms and use of medication as advised by healthcare professionals. Achieving a good treatment balance of asthma or other lung condition not only improves the patient’s quality of life but also reduces the costs related to the disease. Supported self-management (or guided self-management) has proven to be useful for asthmatics, as results of the Finnish National Asthma Programme show: the programme reduced the harm caused by asthma both for the patients as well as the economy. But what kind of supported self-management is the most efficient?

In a study published last year in The British Medical Journal (BMJ), the researchers compared different types of supported self-management to find out which of them are the most effective, regarding both the use of healthcare resources as well as the patients’ quality of life. Three types of supported self-management were then defined: minimally and regularly supported self-management and multidisciplinary case-management. Independent self-monitoring was also taken into account.

Based on their analysis, the researchers recommend regularly supported self-management, where the patient receives at least two hours of guidance for the self-management routine. Multidisciplinary case-management was recommended for those with a more complex condition. Minimally supported self-management and self-monitoring didn’t seem to be effective, according to the study.

– Keeping people with asthma connected with their GPs and healthcare professionals (e.g. via tele/e-consultation) is the best way to improve their wellbeing and prevents avoidable visits to hospitals and emergency departments, says one of the authors Alexander Hodkinson in the BMJ Blog.

KAMU Asthma makes self-management of chronic lung conditions effortless at home and enables a smooth flow of information between patient and healthcare. The service consists of a clinical-grade mobile spirometer for home use as well as a smartphone app for tracking symptoms, use of medication and triggers, and it provides accurate and reliable data of the patient’s current lung condition. The patient can share their spirometry results and other data as a report with their healthcare professionals digitally, which helps in arranging remote consultations. Read more about KAMU here.