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Asthma and COPD in primary health care, quality according to national guidelines: a cross-sectional and a retrospective study

Author(s): Carlfjord Siw | Lindberg Malou

Journal: BMC Family Practice
ISSN 1471-2296

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 36;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background In recent decades international and national guidelines have been formulated to ensure that patients suffering from specific diseases receive evidence-based care. In 2004 the National Swedish Board of Health and Welfare (SoS) published guidelines concerning the management of patients with asthma and COPD. The guidelines identify quality indicators that should be fulfilled. The aim of this study was to survey structure and process indicators, according to the asthma and COPD guidelines, in primary health care, and to identify correlations between structure and process quality results. Methods A cross-sectional study of existing structure by using a questionnaire, and a retrospective study of process quality based on a review of measures documented in asthma and COPD medical records. All 42 primary health care centres in the county council of Östergötland, Sweden, were included. Results All centres showed high quality regarding structure, although there was a large difference in time reserved for Asthma and COPD Nurse Practice (ACNP). The difference in reserved time was reflected in process quality results. The time needed to reach the highest levels of spirometry and current smoking habit documentation was between 1 and 1 1/2 hours per week per 1000 patients registered at the centre. Less time resulted in fewer patients examined with spirometry, and fewer medical records with smoking habits documented. More time did not result in higher levels, but in more frequent contact with each patient. In the COPD group more time resulted in higher levels of pulse oximetry and weight registration. Conclusion To provide asthma and COPD patients with high process quality in primary care according to national Swedish guidelines, at least one hour per week per 1000 patients registered at the primary health care centre should be reserved for ACNP.
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