Use of inhaled corticosteroids following discharge From an emergency department for an acute exacerbation of asthma

Blais, L.; Beauchesne, M.-F.
November 2004
Thorax;Nov2004, Vol. 59 Issue 11, p943
Academic Journal
Background: Most patients who have an asthma exacerbation leading to a visit to an emergency department (ED) will benefit from treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) at discharge. We investigated whether asthmatic children and adolescents were receiving ICS after discharge from the ED and identified the characteristics of patients and physicians associated with their use. Methods: A cohort of 4042 asthmatic patients aged 5-17 years was selected from the administrative database of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec between 1997 and 1999. The proportion of patients using ICS 1, 3, and 6 months alter ED discharge was estimated. Using GEE models the independent contribution of sociodemographic variables, markers of asthma severally, prior use of health care services and ICS, and physician characteristics was investigated on the likelihood of using CS after ED discharge. Results: 68% of children and 51% of adolescents had a valid prescription for ICS in the month following discharge. At 6 months after discharge the corresponding figures were 77% and 60%. The strongest predictors of ICS use were age, with adolescents being less likely to use ICS than children (OR 0.49; 95% CI 0.43 to 0.56), prior use of ICS (OR 2.28; 95% CI 2.00 to 2.61), and Riling a prescription for oral corticosteroids in the month following discharge (OR 2.29; 95% CI 2.03 to 2.58). However, patients who had an ED visit or a hospital admission for asthma during the 6 months before discharge were not more likely to use ICS after discharge. Conclusion: A large proportion of patients with clear markers of uncontrolled or severe asthma did not have a valid prescription for an ICS after discharge from the ED.


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