BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Health care provider adherence to asthma guidelines is poor. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of interventions to improve health care providers’ adherence to asthma guidelines on health care process and clinical outcomes.

METHODS:

Data sources included Medline, Embase, Cochrane CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Educational Resources Information Center, PsycINFO, and Research and Development Resource Base in Continuing Medical Education up to July 2012. Paired investigators independently assessed study eligibility. Investigators abstracted data sequentially and independently graded the evidence.

RESULTS:

Sixty-eight eligible studies were classified by intervention: decision support, organizational change, feedback and audit, clinical pharmacy support, education only, quality improvement/pay-for-performance, multicomponent, and information only. Half were randomized trials (n = 35). There was moderate evidence for increased prescriptions of controller medications for decision support, feedback and audit, and clinical pharmacy support and low-grade evidence for organizational change and multicomponent interventions. Moderate evidence supports the use of decision support and clinical pharmacy interventions to increase provision of patient self-education/asthma action plans. Moderate evidence supports use of decision support tools to reduce emergency department visits, and low-grade evidence suggests there is no benefit for this outcome with organizational change, education only, and quality improvement/pay-for-performance.

CONCLUSIONS:

Decision support tools, feedback and audit, and clinical pharmacy support were most likely to improve provider adherence to asthma guidelines, as measured through health care process outcomes. There is a need to evaluate health care provider-targeted interventions with standardized outcomes.

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