A virtual asthma clinic for children: fewer routine outpatient visits, same asthma control
until further notice
SourceEuropean Respiratory Journal, 50, 4, (2017), article pii: 1700471
Article / Letter to editor
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Paediatrics - OUD tm 2017
European Respiratory Journal
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
eHealth is an appealing medium to improve healthcare and its value (in addition to standard care) has been assessed in previous studies. We aimed to assess whether an eHealth intervention could improve asthma control while reducing 50% of routine outpatient visits.In a multicentre, randomised controlled trial with a 16-month follow-up, asthmatic children (6-16 years) treated in eight Dutch hospitals were randomised to usual care (4-monthly outpatient visits) and online care using a virtual asthma clinic (VAC) (8-monthly outpatient visits with monthly web-based monitoring). Outcome measures were the number of symptom-free days in the last 4 weeks of the study, asthma control, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, exhaled nitric oxide fraction, asthma exacerbations, unscheduled outpatient visits, hospital admissions, daily dose of inhaled corticosteroids and courses of systemic corticosteroids.We included 210 children. After follow-up, symptom-free days differed statistically between the usual care and VAC groups (difference of 1.23 days, 95% CI 0.42-2.04; p=0.003) in favour of the VAC. In terms of asthma control, the Childhood Asthma Control Test improved more in the VAC group (difference of 1.17 points, 95% CI 0.09-2.25; p=0.03). No differences were found for other outcome measures.Routine outpatient visits can partly be replaced by monitoring asthmatic children via eHealth.
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