An Evaluation of the Demographics, Characteristics and Healthcare Utilisation of People with Asthma Referred to an Ambulatory Respiratory Hub

Wesley Henry, Catherine Hanratty, Jennifer Elder, C M Bleakley, B O'Neill

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Abstract

Background

Asthma is the most treated condition in the Ulster Hospital Ambulatory Respiratory Hub (ARH). This multidisciplinary rapid assessment and treatment centre reviews respiratory patients to prevent hospital admission. This service evaluation (SE) may identify improvements for the service and better outcomes for asthma patients.

Aims

The demographics, clinical characteristics including biomarker profile and co-morbidities, alongside subsequent healthcare utilisation of patients with asthma were explored.

Method

Retrospective review of electronic healthcare records identified 151 patients with asthma attending the ARH between 1st July 2019 and 31st Dec 2019. Baseline demographics, clinical characteristics, comorbidities and asthma biomarkers were extracted. Patients were characterised according to their T2-biomarker expression and comparisons made. Healthcare utilisation was assessed by collecting data regarding hospital admissions, emergency department attendances and GP out of hours visits 6 months before and after attending the service.

Results

Most patients with asthma were female (73.5%), T2- biomarker low (74.2%) and had a high prevalence of obesity (49%). Prevalent comorbidities included rhinosinusitis, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, depression and anxiety. Investigations included spirometry, chest x-ray and asthma biomarkers (fraction of exhaled nitric oxide and blood eosinophil count). Hospital admissions were reduced by 93%, ED attendances by 83.4% and GP OOH visits by 71.4% during the 6-month period following attendance.

Conclusions

The identification and management of common asthma comorbidities is important and should be routinely assessed. The ARH reduces healthcare utilisation for patients attending with asthma. It could provide additional support to the regional service enabling quicker access to biologic therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2024

Keywords

  • asthma exacerbation
  • comorbidities
  • ambulatory care
  • healthcare utilisation
  • T2-biomarkers

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