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Original Article


Group Education on Asthma for Children and Caregivers: a Randomized, Controlled Trial Addressing Effects on Morbidity and Quality of Life


A Cano-Garcinuño,1 C Díaz-Vázquez,2 I Carvajal-Urueña,3 M Praena-Crespo,4 A Gatti-Viñoly,5 I García-Guerra6

1 Centro de Salud de Villamuriel de Cerrato, Palencia, Spain
2 Centro de Salud de Moreda, Asturias, Spain
3 Centro de Salud de Las Vegas, Asturias, Spain
4 Centro de Salud La Candelaria, Seville, Spain
5 Dirección Departamental de Salud de Canelones, Uruguay
6 Hospital General de Holguín, Cuba

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007; Vol. 17(4): 216-226



Objective: To establish the efficacy in terms of morbidity and quality of life of a group education program on asthma aimed at children and caregivers.

Methods: An open, randomized, controlled trial was undertaken in 13 primary health care centers in Spain, Cuba, and Uruguay and involved 245 children with active asthma aged 9 to 13 years and their caregivers. The intervention consisted of 3 educational sessions lasting 45 to 60 minutes each and was performed with 3 intervention groups: children alone, caregivers alone, and both children and caregivers.
The outcome measures were difference between intervention and control groups in the rate of asthma attacks and hospital admission, as well as the quality of life of children and caregivers in the 6 months following the intervention.

Results: The rate of asthma attacks per patient–year decreased when the intervention was given only to children (mean difference, –1.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], –2.87 to –0.34) or to both children and caregivers (–1.60; 95%CI, –2.88 to –0.31). Hospital admissions per patient–year decreased in the intervention groups children alone (–0.28; 95%CI, –0.51 to –0.05) and both children and caregivers (–0.25; 95%CI, –0.49 to –0.02). Education provided to caregivers alone was not associated with any changes in morbidity. No differences were observed in terms of quality of life between controls and any of the intervention groups.

Conclusions: Group education on asthma reduces morbidity but does not improve quality of life. The benefi ts are apparent when education is aimed at children but no additional benefit is obtained if the intervention is also aimed at their caregivers. Finally, group education for adult caregivers alone is not effective.

Key words: Asthma. Children. Caregiver. Quality of life. Patient education. Clinical trial. Multicenter study. Questionnaires.