Peak Flow Meters and Asthma Research Paper by Research Group

Peak Flow Meters and Asthma
An in-depth study into whether the use of peak flow meters, which measure possible obstruction to the breathing tubes in asthma patients, prevents attacks and subsequent hospitalization.
# 27538 | 7,186 words | 23 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 10, 2003 in Medical and Health (Medical Studies)

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This paper examines whether the use of a peak flow meter is a good indicator of an impending crisis in asthma patients. The hypothesis for this study is that use of a peak flow meter would give both the patient and the doctor early warning and allow treatment adjustments and so avoid hospitalization, emergency room visits, absenteeism and activity limitations in asthma patients. To test this hypothesis, a survey was conducted of asthma patients, doctors, respiratory therapists, nurses and pharmacists to determine the distribution and use of these meters and if they did prevent hospitalizations, emergency room visits, absenteeism and activity limitations in asthma patients.

Table of Contents
Statement of Problem
Research Hypothesis
Limitations of Study
Figures and Tables

From the Paper:

"Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways in which many cells and cellular elements play a role, in particular mast cells, eosinophils, T lymphocytes, neutrophils and epithelial cells (Asthma Diagnosis and Management, 2001). In individuals who are susceptible, this inflammation causes recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing, particularly at night and in the early morning. These episodes are usually associated with widespread but variable airflow obstruction that is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment. The inflammation also causes an associated increase in the existing bronchial hyperresponsiveness to a variety of stimuli.
In the United States, asthma is the third leading cause of preventable hospitalizations, and is responsible for an estimated 470,000 hospitalizations and 5,500 deaths each year (Asthma Diagnosis and Management, 2001; White and Roughan, 2000). Undertreatment and inappropriate therapy are the major contributors to asthma morbidity and mortality in the United states (Asthma Diagnosis and Management, 2001). Less than half the patients hospitalized in two large metropolitan area emergency departments were found to be receiving inflammatory therapy as recommended in the Expert Panel Report-2 (EPR-2), and only 28 percent of the adult patients hospitalized for asthma had written action plans that told them how to manage their asthma and control exacerbations. The goal of the EPR-2 is to serve as a comprehensive guide to diagnosing and managing asthma. While implementation of EPR-2 recommendations may initially increase some costs of asthma care because it will require an increase in the number of primary care visits and the use of asthma medications, environmental control products and services, and equipment, in the long run asthma diagnosis and management are expected to improve and this should reduce the number of hospitalizations, lost work and school days, emergency department visits and deaths from asthma. The four components of asthma management in the longterm are: assessment and monitoring; pharmacological therapy; patient education and partnership in asthma care; and control of contributing factors."

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